YOUTH EMPOWERMENT, A DETERRENCE AGAINST CORRUPTION

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A recent survey by Transparency International reports very high levels of youth exposure to corruption. The youth in Kenya constitute more than 68% of the population and have been hardest hit by high unemployment and job cuts worsened by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Accordingly, many youths have been caught up in the lure of easy mobile money loans aggressively marketed online, ending up listed on credit reference bureaus.  The survey states that significant numbers of youth are willing to engage in practices that contradict their integrity for the benefit of themselves, their family, and friends. These hard economic times push youths into corruption.

This is why it is important to invest in creating opportunities for the youth to enable them to be self-sustaining.

MasterCard through the Kitengela Sessa Youth and Recreation Center in Athi River came up with a project that will see the youth benefit from a program aimed at enhancing employment opportunities in the green economy. The program targets young people who are enrolled in technical and vocational education and training institutions as well as those in the green economy enterprise who may require additional skills and financial boost. Tutors from recognized institutions including the National Youth Service have been equipped to tutor the students.

Trainees will be taken through various courses among them being climate change, mitigation, waste management, and recycling. The students are expected to help farmers adopt the best agricultural practices especially on drought mitigation and the course will take 3 months. The training will come in handy especially now that the world is facing adverse climatic changes that are affecting agriculture and livelihoods.

The students in the technical and vocational education and training institutions will be referred to colleges offering the courses, which include the NYS centers in Naivasha and Gilgil. Other institutions ought to follow the example of Master Card by offering opportunities for youths to advance their skills and better their livelihoods hence reducing the lure for corruption.

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