THE TRAGEDY OF YOUTH EMPOWERMENT PROGRAMS.

I  remember  two years ago, i came to live in this city. The lake side city.  Just fresh from campus, i was ill equipped to experience whatever life would throw at me. My mother had talked me into joining a Youth Film Production course offering  Citizen Journalism and Film production practical course that was currently ongoing at the American Corner of the Kisumu National Library. We had been promised that i would get a job as soon as i completed the course. All i had to do was perform well. Little did i know that this promise would not be fulfilled.

Seven months down the line, nothing much was going on. The program had stalled. Idleness and hopelessness set in. I continued visiting the library because i had nothing else to do. There was free wifi so i could also surf the internet and apply for jobs online as i waited to know my fate. I had also enrolled for an entrepreneurship and employ-ability course offered by DOT( Digital Opportunity Trust). We were being trained on ict, entrepreneurship and interview skills. I’m  glad i joined. It horned my interview skills.

I made friends at the library. People from all walks of life enrolled for the cause. Most of the guys who enrolled were youths who were hungry for a better life.Most came from less privileged backgrounds. Just like me, we wanted to acquire skills and expertise that would make us marketable. More attractive to the job industry in Kenya.

The YFP( Youth Film Production) program failed. People started quitting as there was another KEPSA project that the government came up with.The library became empty. It finally dawned on me that the program failed and i was not ready to go back home empty handed. No certificate to show that i had acquired skills in Video editing, photography, videography, interviewing, live reporting, news anchoring, script writing and so on. I was angry. Angry at myself for not taking up a job i was offered by an NGO . I should have left the program and taken the job. I would be far ahead, i thought to myself. How would i even imagine that this program would fail. we had teachers who  told us to apply for jobs in media houses as they would help us get the jobs. We even wrote stories for CNN IReport.We knew that some of us would be selected to work on various filming projects in Ethiopia, others would work for CNN, BBC and other local media houses in Kenya. We were fooled. Up to date, no one told us why the program failed. We waited for the CEO heading the YFP project and she never showed up. We waited for the cameras and equipment for filming to arrive so that we would film our movies and finally graduate but it all never happened.

It is so sad when people use projects meant for helping youths in the society for their own interests. This is why we are forever lagging behind as a country. Responsible people should be allowed to lead projects. When we have leaders who are greedy and have their own selfish interests, our youths will continue being used and abused. We should say no to such kind of leadership.

I don’t think that i wasted my time at the American corner. I acquired skills and that is so much more important than any piece of paper. I was mad because my friends lost hope. Those from less privileged backgrounds were in despair. This program had showed them that there was something to hope for.

 

 

 

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