Empowering Youth to take Initiative

joblessToday in many economies, the rate of unemployment is souring especially among the youth and the recently graduated. As the youths fail to secure jobs, they most a times become frustrated and may end up engaging some antisocial behaviors such as drug abuse or criminal activities.

This is a situation which was prevalent in my village that I hail from and when I got elected to represent the county as a Member of the County Assembly I knew that I had a duty of bringing hope to the various unemployed youth who were struggling with unemployment. This was a promise that I had made to many as I campaigned for my election and I really wanted to ensure that the dream becomes a reality.

job-hunting-536802_640As I had earlier planned, I rolled out a sensitization program whereby I wanted the youth to team up and form various youth groups according to the different areas of interest. There are those who loved drama and they teamed up and formed a youth group as per their interests, there was another one for business minded youth as well as several other groups.

I then called upon various stakeholders and formed a committee which would see the youth organized into various cohorts so that they could some training. This was successfully implemented and everything went as planned

My biggest worry

However, I was worried about how I would go about sourcing for funds to enable them start various business locally as well as engage in other productive activities. The little funds that I had earlier sourced were all used up in the training and empowerment which they received before. I was worried that all these efforts would go unrewarded if I failed to source the funds. Yet still, I wasn’t sure how prepared they were to handle the funds if they were available. Cases of misappropriation would be a big blow in the event of my next bid for re-election.

After some consultation with my advisers and friends, I decided to bring a motion in our parliament whereby part of the funds received for county budgeting would be used to form a kitty to fund the activities of these youths. This would be a program which would be budgeted for each year. Being my first time it was hard for me to convince the other members of the house about the viability of the initiative. Therefore it took about 4 months of deliberation before the motion was passed.

The pilot program

youth groupsA pilot program was launched in my ward because the youth there were already prepared and some follow-up measures were formulated. There was need to access the feasibility and practicability of the project for at least a year before a complete program would be launched in the entire county.

Luckily, all those who benefited from the kitty never let me down and by the end of the year, there were various businesses which had been launched by the youth and others had engaged in other profitable ventures. This led the house to believe on the benefits of the program and the following year it was rolled in other wards.

I’m a happy man as I wait for elections next year, knowing that what I did was the best that any leader could do to his people.