09 Sep Bipartisan Youth Initiative
Youth Agenda and Youth Alive after the October presidential election facilitated the Bipartisan Youth Initiative which was conceived by youth organizations. The youth mobilized through social media to champion for peace at a time when calls for demonstrations and boycotting repeat elections. The political temperatures had risen to a point that threatened peace. There was need to bring together youth from different political divides to form the bipartisan youth initiative for peace to strengthen the youth voices calling for peace amidst divergent political views and champion for tolerance as the youth spoke with one voice. The youth also discussed youth inclusion in governance using this neutral platform to raise the visibility of young people and their concerns using a bipartisan platform for articulation of objective and common interests and vision for the Kenya they want in the current political environment.
There were two bipartisan meetings held before the repeat election. One was done with key stakeholders at the Intercontinental Hotel in Nairobi. The Cabinet Secretary for Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs Hon. Sicily Kariuki attended the meeting where most political parties were represented. The resolutions of the meeting were captured in a memorandum and presented to the CS.
The youth categorically stated that,
“We are clear that at the core of all agendas, interests and perspectives, there must be the pursuit of peace and the empowerment of young people. Be it an election, or a dialogue, an amendment or a boycott the approach of pursuit must be non-violent and must not result in the disempowerment of any young person”
A meeting was organized in Kawangware where over 200 youth attended two days after the Kawangware informal settlements went up in flames. YAA through the Bipartisan youth initiative mobilized youth from various parts of Nairobi to meet with and dialogue with the youth in Kawangware. The meeting also attracted youth artists such as Gabu of P-unit, Mr. Seed, DK kwenye beat and Rufftone.
The presence of the artists and the other youth gave the youth in Kawangware hope that violence was not a route to peace. The platform also provided a hookup for youth in accessing youth funds, obtaining lost ID’s and birth certificates with the support of huduma mashinani (Huduma Centre) and youth fund. The ministry of youth was key in ensuring that security prevailed and that the Huduma Centre personnel participated. The youth got an opportunity to showcase their talents and discuss matter affecting youth and the opportunities for youth in the coming government.