One of the main reasons why Fahamu Trust initiated this project was the inspiration we got from a young woman who lives in Kibera, one of Nairobi’s informal urban settlements. We will not mention her really name hear because of the delicate nature of her work. Let us call her Vivian. Vivian's work is to save the lives of young people in her community who are involved in criminal activities by convincing them to quit those criminal activities and re-join their community. Since some of those former young criminals fear for their lives once they are back to their communities, especially possible revenge or even arrest by the police, Vivian works with some policemen and women to ensure protection of these young people. She also works with other young people in the community to convince them to receive their fellow young people to the community.
For most people when they hear the word innovation, they think about technological innovation. Vivian's work demonstrates that innovation is a different way of doing things in order to achieve results that once could not have achieved otherwise. After those former young criminals are reintegrated back to society, they are assigned personal mentors and trainers so that they can find alternatives to criminal activities. Some become security guards, other start their own small businesses, while other start community based organisations to share their experiences with other young people and encourage them to shun away from violence and criminal behaviour.
Vivian's story is just one of many stories of young people in Kenya who are proposing various social innovations in order to solve a number of challenges they see in their communities across Kenya and using minimal financial resources. We want to use this opportunity to sincerely thank our donors who have believed in our work that seeks to help those young innovators realise their dreams. We will continue our efforts to reach our fundraising target so that we can work with these young people in their journeys to change their respective communities.
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