Strengthening the engagement of young people in political and social processes in the marginalized areas in Kenya
A two day youth seminar organized by KAS, Kenya in partnership with Friends of Lake Turkana was held at the Friends of Lake Turkana Resource Centre in Lodwar, Turkana County on the 28th -29th of March 2017. The seminar engaged 30 young people aged between 18-35 years with 15 of the participants drawn from Lokichar, Katilu and Kerio in South Turkana where due to the extremely low literacy level in the above marginalized areas the youth involved had little or no formal education and the other 15 of the participants drawn from Lodwar and urban setting.
The seminar was designed around two main objectives, namely; to identify issues/challenges that the youth from rural or marginalized regions experience hence affecting their ability to effectively participate in political and social process and to identify a way how the local youth can influence and implement political and social process through good lobby activities. Therefore, with the above set objectives the facilitators steered discussions that enabled the youth to begin thinking of people-centred solutions to their challenges and to avoid the traditional “top-down” approach with discussions and group activities being centred around but not limited to the role of education in youth participation in decision making processes in Turkana , voter registration and how its constraints affect political and social processes in Turkana, the role of collective leadership among pastoral communities, role of young women in leadership in Turkana and the role the youth play in ensuring social accountability and good governance.
The climax of the seminar was when the participants came to a consensus that for there to be effective youth engagement in social and political processes, the Turkana Youth Council, a leadership structure with the responsibility of youth leadership and youth representation at the grassroots levels requires more clearly defined organization structures to enhance its capacity at the county and grassroots levels.