Young People Take the Lead in Bungoma, Kenya
Real and lasting change comes when young people are empowered to take control of their lives. It comes when young people are given greater access, resources, and influence to create new futures for their countries and communities. We can see this first hand in a small town in Eastern Africa.
In Kenya, the median age is only 20 years old; This means that the country’s future is in young people’s hands. Empowering them to become confident, skilled leaders and advocates today can have a powerful impact for years to come. In Bungoma County, a region in western Kenya where more than half of the population lives in poverty, a home-grown, grassroots youth movement is emerging, preparing young people to create a more prosperous future.
Bungoma Youth Connect (BYC) and Stage Media Arts, both supported with funds from Red Nose Day, are among the leaders of this movement. Both programs are part of the Youth in Action initiative of Amref Health Africa.
Through BYC, program leads mentor disenfranchised young people to help them speak up on issues that matter to them, like reproductive health and gender equality and set the course for their own futures. In addition to receiving mentorship, participants learn, grow, and connect with their peers, forming a powerful global cohort of rising community leaders and change-makers.
Stage Media Arts focuses on tapping into young people’s talents and building confidence so that participants can have their voices heard and supported to become advocates for change in their communities. In addition, the organization’s engaging programs ensure that the youth in action have access to health information, health supplies, and youth-friendly services.
These programs aim to support young people with transformative tools and experiences. As a result, youth emerge from the programs more confident and better equipped to play an informed and effective role in advocating for their rights and dismantling obstacles they — or their communities — are facing.
There are currently 1.8 billion people between the ages of 10-24, the largest generation of youth in history. We need their courage, leadership, and creativity to develop new solutions to poverty and other urgent challenges.
Groups like BYC, Stage Media Arts, and many others that Red Nose Days supports empower youth to put their courage, leadership, and creativity to tackle pressing issues, with youth empowerment one of Red Nose Day’s key focus areas. Learn more about Red Nose Day’s focus on Empowering Youth.