Eastleigh Youth Forum is a non- Governmental Organization that seeks to transform lives and livelihoods of youth living in Eastleigh ward, Kamkunji sub-county. The Organization recommends strengthening of young people access to knowledge and basic life skills and sustainable efforts to earn income and a sense of purpose and increased public awareness on the issues affecting young people
Eastleigh has a large population of young people below the age of 35 years. The main challenge brought about by this population is the very growing need for social services such as health, education and other social amenities. Each year, an increasing number of these young people necessitate an increase in creation of employment and income opportunities to meet the demands of this group. On the other hand if social and economic needs for this population are met then the social-economic development of the country will be greatly enhanced. In this case the large population of young people will become an asset to the country. It is in recognition of this that EYF has put in place several initiatives/ activities aimed at improving socio- economic opportunities and wellbeing of young people in Eastleigh.
The major problem affecting young people are drugs and substance abuse (especially miraa), mental health due to stress,these problems are caused by poverty and lack employment opportunities.
The misuse of substance is mainly because of idleness and the lack of involvement, low education status, youth cannot be able to cope.
Some young people in Eastleigh often find themselves involved in disputes, clan conflicts. Rape,suicidalattempts and other criminal activities. This mainly because of lack of employment opportunities, and lack of identity and discrimination of the youth.
Young people especially in Eastleigh are disadvantaged to work as a result of substance abuse, lower education status. There are alsoother challenges that hinder employment and income opportunities like tribalism, nepotism funds with interest rates that are against Islamic laws and requirements to access loans.
Among other factors hindering growth and youth development is lack of positive role models and radicalization where most youth are mainly being used to further either inter- clan or even some act of terror
But in the recent years EYF has identified the knowledge and information to mitigate the key drivers to this issues. The organization has earned success in the transformation of the young people from me literacy level to having basic life skills and sustainable efforts to earn income and sense of purpose. Many youths who were at risks have received supportive vocational training skills, basic language trainings kills,and a series of mentorship session through indoor and outdoor public forums, local radio, television and social media.
The reason for is to promote youth empowerment in terms of improving employability and entrepreneurship skills, where they are trained in what they are good atfor example if one is a musician Eastleigh youth forum creates concerts for them, if they are actors EYF also creates film boot camp etc.
The other reason is that EYF wanted to guide the youth to tilt their minds towards asset creation and to make them deviate from total dependency.
The organization has been carrying out so many activities which has receives tones of positive feedbacks from the youth , in particular training and workshops for the youth , talent exhibition. EYF has involved youth groups in all this organized activities and uses its connections to invite qualified mentors to mentor the participants (youth) which allows them meet the right people who can help them do well since most talented people in our society lack such connections.Theseefforts have promoted harmonious relationship between EYF and so many youth groups both formal and informal.
EYF Director Iman Burhan carried out a Beneficiary / youth contact monitor and he has established that at least 80% of youth have expressed their interest to join and work with EYF.
There is an outcry in this community regarding youth unemployment and skills to help the improve theirlives and EYF has introduced this concept to reduce poverty, by giving the knowledge, and also tilt the youth attitude of total dependency and violence to support themselves.
There is need for this trainings and forums from time to time so they can learn from this mentors.