January 22, 2021
Working with spaces that the community has condemned as dirty or outcast needs divine inspiration. Working with Vulnerable Maskani Youth has been one of the risks that we took as an organization, and we are ecstatic to report that it has paid off handsomely.
The Maskanis are largely condemned as “No Go Zones”, and that they are breeding grounds for drug abusers, petty thieves, and juvenile criminals. However, through the #Shared_Futures project, we have harvested so much success that we feel the Maskani approach should be sustained, internally as a signature operation.
Apart from sensitizing the Maskani youth on the need for intercultural collaboration and peacebuilding, we have taken them through the #KUMEKUCHA Trauma Healing and Resilience Framework sessions, in order to support them cope positively with their mental health challenges. We have further kept on inviting technical resource persons from the public and private sector to train them on an array of livelihood skills, including CV creation, access to employable vocational skills, creating business plans, access to loans and grants, etc.
The icing of the cake for us has been our intent and pursuit to help the ad-hoc Maskani groups to register as official self-help groups (SHGs) or Community Based Organizations (CBOs) in order to exist legally and be able to trade and access livelihood opportunities from public and private sector partners.
So far we have supported seven out of the nine Maskanis to register officially as community-level Organizations, and some of them have already started receiving support from the network of partners we have linked them to.
As a pleasant surprise, of the 15 new volunteers that joined SambaSports this year, 2021, more than 50% of them were Maskani beneficiaries that felt transformed enough to have the courage and the desire to help other vulnerable youth, through volunteering at SambaSports.
Thus far, we wish to congratulateGombato Youth Focus, who have been pacesetters in the Maskani Transformation process, by launching their own youth empowerment activities and contributing to most youth who joined SambaSports as volunteers.The Shared Futures project is funded by Kerk in Actie through ICCO Corporation. Our project implementation partners have been Jamii Action Centre – JAC, Africa Youth Trust, and Anglican Development Services Pwani – ADS Pwani