Yes Youth Can

Funding Level:
$53 million

May 2011 – July 2015

Activity Goals:

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

Activity Accomplishments:

  • One million youth empowered
  • 500,000 youth replaced or obtained ID cards in collaboration with the National Registration Bureau
  • 22,000 village-level bunges registered with Government of Kenya as self-help groups
  • 29 Savings and Credit Cooperatives formed to offer youth friendly financial services

Yes Youth Can (YYC) Chapters with Implementing Partners:
YYC/Coast: CLUSA International
YYC/Central: Mercy Corps
YYC/Nairobi: CLUSA International
YYC/Nyanza: World Vision
YYC/Rift Valley: Mercy Corps
YYC/Western: Winrock International
YYC/North Eastern Province: Education Development Center

Key Partners:
Ministry of Industrialization and Enterprise, Development, Ministry of Planning and Devolution, Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government; Barclays Bank, Plan International, County Governments, MasterCard Foundation, GIZ, National Hospital Insurance Fund

Activity Locations:
30 counties

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 leadership as representatives in national outreach activities.

The bunges provide a structure and a forum for young men and women to take action and improve their lives, develop new leadership skills, promote transparent decision-making, prioritize key issues, and emerge as positive forces for change in their communities.

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

Yes Youth Can strengthens the capacity of youth to govern their own programs and to constructively engage with other actors in governance. The youth elect their own leaders annually, develop by-laws, register with the Government of Kenya, open bank accounts, and hold membership meetings to determine priorities and implement programs. All activities are youth-led, managed and owned.

Yes Youth Can encourages youth to engage in community service and micro enterprises. Bunge members have established small businesses such as fish ponds, poultry production, small-scale tea cultivation, dairy sales, garbage collection, and jewelry making. They also conduct community service with a focus on environmental conservation while other groups build and reinforce messages and activities to promote peaceful resolution of conflict.

County Youth Bunge Forums, in partnership with the Ministry of Industrialization and Enterprise Development, have launched youth savings and credit associations, known as SACCOs. These youth-led SACCOs offer a safe place for youth to save money and access for youth-run micro-enterprises.

Yes Youth Can helps youth organize and obtain official status as self-help groups or civil society organizations to qualify them for government grants and training programs. Yes Youth Can bunge members also participate in the national “My ID, My Life” campaign, to help more than 500,000 youth obtain a national identification cards allowing them to vote in the March 2013 general elections and take care of fundamental business processes such as opening a bank account or applying for a job in the formal economy.

Recently, County Youth Bunge Forums have embarked on a campaign, in collaboration with the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF), to assist community members, particularly bunge members, acquire NHIF cards. This campaign aims to increase youth access to health services.

USAID Contact:
Wick Powers, Director
Office of Education and Youth
Tel: +254 20 862 2000

Updated November 2014

Last updated: November 28, 2014

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