Yes Youth Can Central

Funding Level:
$3.8 million

March 2011 – July 2015

Activity Goals:

  • Empower youth to expand their economic opportunities and contribute to their communities
  • Encourage youth leadership and a youth voice in local and national policy dialogue
  • Increase youth participation in local development and peace initiatives

Activity Accomplishments:

  • 953,777 youth reached with outreach campaigns to inspire positive development
  • 74,263 youth have joined 3,539 village bunges spread across four counties, and are actively engaged in economic ventures
  • 86 bunge members completed United States Government-assisted civic education programs

Implementing Partner:
Mercy Corps

Key Partners:
Ministry of Industrialization and Enterprise Development, Ministry of Planning and Devolution, Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government

Activity Locations:
Kiambu, Kirinyaga, Murang’a, Nyeri

Yes Youth Can is a national activity that has empowered one million Kenyan youth to expand their economic opportunities, contribute to their communities and become responsible members of society. Through Yes Youth Can and the National Youth Bunge Association, young people aged 18-35 organize themselves into youth-run and youth-led village and county-level bunges (Kiswahili for “parliaments”) and democratically elect leaders to represent them at the national level.

The bunges provide a structure and a forum for young women and men to take action to improve their own lives and those of their neighbors, develop new leadership skills, promote transparent decision-making about their priorities, and empower themselves to be positive forces for change in their communities.   

USAID has established Yes Youth Can in 30 of Kenya’s 47 counties, with a focus on areas that have experienced high levels of violence or where threats of terrorism and extremism are prevalent.

Yes Youth Can Central has a youth-led, owned and managed approach. The activity uses County Youth Forums to mobilize youth to be agents of positive change in their communities. To achieve this goal, Yes Youth Can Central developed a series of integrated activities that work toward four objectives: 1) Mobilize and form youth representative structures at the village and county level; 2) Support youth to exercise a greater voice in local and national affairs; 3) Increase youth productivity, employment opportunities, and income; and 4) Increase young women’s access to social, political, and economic opportunities.

Mugumoini Youth Bunge, in the Kigumo constituency of Murang’a County, has shown that pig farming is not an activity for the old. This bunge, which consists of 14 members, four of whom are women, is actively involved in pig farming. Each bunge member contributed 500 Ksh toward the acquisition of eight piglets.

The group came up with the idea of pig raising for income after a Village Savings and Loans training organized by Mercy Corps. The group now has a total of 10 pigs and 20 piglets. Bunge members have no problem selling their piglets. Many of the farmers from the village and neighboring villages book the piglets in advance. This has encouraged more youth to take up pig rearing as a career, rather than engaging in criminal activities or joining illegal gangs. The youth bunge is transforming the village into a major piglet-producing village in the area. They also have a ready market at the Kenol-Kabati abattoir.

Before the project, the youth were busy recruiting other youths to join illegal gangs, which would terrorize the villages both day and night. The villagers consider the project to be a great success.

Mugumoini youth bunge has great future plans for their group. Cyrus Kamande, the bunge president, says they would like to improve the pig sty further. They plan to increase the number of sows they keep from eight to 15. They also plan to make the floor of the sty concrete and to put a tin roof over the pen. They also have a vision of each bunge member owning a pig.

One of their biggest challenges has been buying the feed, which becomes more expensive as the pigs mature. To try and reduce cost, they are keeping in touch with the area agricultural officer who promised to train them on how to prepare cheap home feeds for the pigs. This will reduce the cost and help increase the litter.

Rachael Wanjiku a bunge member says that “good breeding, feeding, housing and veterinary care, coupled with my improved knowledge on pig management, have helped us to transform our subsistence pig system into a profitable one.” She encourages other youth to rear and sell cross-bred pigs for breeding.

USAID Contacts:
Robert (Wick) Powers, Director
Office of Education and Youth
Tel:  +254 20 862 2000

Pamela Wesonga
Office of Education and Youth
Tel:  +254 20 862 2000

Yes Youth Can Central Contact:
Lynn Renken, Mercy Corps Kenya Country Director
Tel: +254 (0) 731 880 040


Updated September 2014


Last updated: October 21, 2014

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