Yes Youth Can Rift Valley

What is Yes Youth Can Rift Valley?                          

Yes Youth Can Rift Valley is a youth program that puts youth squarely in the driver’s seat to determine their own future.  Based in Kenya’s Rift Valley, an area that experienced some of the worst post-election violence after Kenya’s 2007 presidential election, the Yes Youth Can program supports young leaders or “bright spots” to champion the potential of their peers. Youth, aged 18 – 35, were both the perpetrators and the victims of post-election violence.  The program provides ongoing market analysis to identify sustainable economic opportunities for youth. 

Young men and women demonstrate their commitment to improving their communities, willingness to cooperate across ethnic lines, influence local and provincial decision-making bodies, and earn a sustainable living.

Where does Yes Youth Can Rift Valley work?

Uasin Gishu County, Nakuru County, Kericho County, Nandi County, Elgeyo Marakwet County, West Pokot County, andTrans Nzoia County.

Who implements Yes Youth Can Rift Valley?

Mercy Corps is implementing Yes Youth Can Rift Valley in partnership with the seven County Youth Bunge Forums.

Project Duration and Budget

March 2011 – November 2013
$3.3 million


What does the Yes Youth Can Rift Valley do?                   

The program mobilizes youth to be agents of positive change in their communities by supporting youth to form local democratic structures, called bunges, (parliaments).  The youth elect leaders, adopt by-laws, register with the Government of Kenya, open bank accounts, and hold regular membership meetings to plan and implement activities.  Local bunges elect representatives to County Youth Bunge Forums, which in turn elect representatives to the National Youth Bunge Association.  County Youth Bunge Forums and the National Youth Bunge Association boast an equal number of male and female representatives.

Through the bunges, youth bring out their own issues. They plan and implement community service projects. 
The program provides training on entrepreneurship and life skills to enable youth to develop income generating activities.

The program helps improve women’s access to political, social and economic opportunities through conducting gender assessment, young women mentorship forums on leadership and outreach campaigns to empower women economically.


How is Yes Youth Can Rift Valley making a difference?

Five thousand two hundred village bunges have been formed across the seven counties.  Local bunges elected leaders to seven County Youth Bunge Forums.  The County Youth Bunge leaders, in cooperation with the Ministry of Cooperatives, have launched youth savings and credit associations, known as SACCOS, to provide youth a secure place to save their money and from which to take loans to support youth-led micro and small enterprises.

Bunge members participated in a national My ID, My Life campaign to mobilize youth to secure a national identification card which is necessary to register to vote, to open a bank account, and to be employed in the formal economy. 

Over 11,000 youth have been trained in entrepreneurship and life skills and 50 enterprise grants given out for Income generating projects for the youth.


What key challenges does Yes Youth Can Rift Valley face?

High unemployment among youth makes youth vulnerable to manipulation by politicians.


For more information:

Christine Pagen, Acting Director
USAID/Kenya
Office of Education and Youth
Tel:  +254 20 862 2755
Email: cpagen@usaid.gov

Pamela Wesonga
USAID/Kenya
Office of Education and Youth
Tel:  +254 20 862 2000
Email: pwesonga@usaid.gov

Grace Karanja
Chief of Party
Yes Youth Can Rift valley
Tel:  0731 88 00 40
Email: gkaranja@ke.mercycorps.org

 

Updated March 2013

Last updated: June 18, 2014

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