Some of the youths championing Jukumu in Kisumu County

Some of the youth championing Jukumu in Kisumu County

By Jemima Otieno

The first week after the Youth Democracy Ambassadors camp began with my search for a theatre team that would help bring out democracy issues in a clear and understandable manner and at the same time be entertaining, educational and ensure engagement of the audience. The main consideration for this selection was age, availability, ability, knowledge and willingness of the team to work voluntarily with minimal allowances during Activity presentation.

After thorough consultation with different leaders of different theatre groups I was able to pick out a theatre group comprising of 5 youths, 3 of them students of Kisumu Polytechnic, 1 an Alumni of Kisumu Polytechnic and  the fifth one a 1st year student at Egerton University and finally the Training of Trainers date was set for 7th August 2015.

On the training of trainers (TOT) day we began the session at 9am in the morning with introduction of the participants and then myself and then I addressed the issue of expectations in terms of what I expected from them and what they would expect from me. Before tackling any modules I tried to assess the level of understanding of the Constitution by the participants by asking basic questions like asking them the wards they came from and their Members of County Assembly (MCAs), their constituencies and Members of Parliament (MPs), then the Governors, Senators and Women Representatives and it was truly shocking to realize that most of them were unaware of their leaders but I challenged them to find out because “Katiba ni Jukumu Letu.”

During the training the following modules were covered:

  • Leadership and integrity
  • The benefits of devolution
  • Budgeting
  • Importance of public participation

I started by facilitating the modules one at a time and in order to ensure understanding I  would ask the participants to put the same in form of theatre where applicable. The session was very interesting and the participants were very excited especially when it came to infusing  theatre to relay the same message and I remember that we made a lot of noise we actually had to change locations from Youths for Sustainable Development (YUSUD) offices and had to relocate to the Jomo Kenyatta Sports ground where we wouldn’t disturb the peace of anyone who was trying to get their work done and even there we attracted a crowd of people who wanted to know who we were and what we were doing and I took the opportunity to invite them to the official youth day 12th August 2015 where we are to make a formal presentation with the theme being “The Youth and Civic Engagement.”

All in all the day was one full of success and I would like to thank the Institute for Education in Democracy (IED) for the opportunity and for empowering me in order to empower and  make a change in the community I come from and even beyond for a better Kenya and  for better democratic governance.