mathare peace

Mathare Youth take to the Streets to Champion for Peace

Youth in Mathare held a Crime and Peace Awareness Campaign Walk to advocate for peace in the area. The campaign, an initiative by Crime Si Poa in partnership with Footprints for Change and Generation Shapers, was in a bid to address the high crime rate in the region.
“Mathare has for a long time been marked as a high-risk area community with cases of theft and robbery with violence on the rise. Young people between the age of 16 to 25 in are being recruited into gangs wreaking havoc in the,” said Ruth Wambui, Crime Si Poa, Community Engagement Officer, adding. “There is therefore need to take action and build cohesion within the community to cultivate peace in the area.”
“Last year a good number of my friends were killed due to crime,” shared Benard a high school student in Mathare who took part in the Peace and Crime awareness campaign. “Crime has hindered many of my friends from achieving their dreams. Majority of them end up using drugs and later engaging in crime. It is time we put a stop to this,” he added.

According to David Lichuma a member of the generation shapers, youth should stand for peace and desire to see a change in Mathare. This was a shared sentiment among many youth members who were at the forefront of the campaign.

“As youth we are saying enough is enough. We must have peace in our hood. We have lost so many of our friends to crime. We don’t want to lose more,” said Lichuma.
The message of peace resonated with majority of the community members, inspiring some to come forward and speak up against crime. Most of the community members called for peace to allow businesses within the area to flourish.
“You don’t have to be a criminal just because you were born in Mathare, there is hope of making a better life for yourself. I was once a criminal, but I reformed, you can also choose to lead a crime-free life,” said Pastor Philip a known community member who encouraged the youth to change their mindsets.

Assistant Chief Mabatini Ward Mugu Njogu, was happy and encouraged to see the youth come together to advocate for peace. He appreciated Crime Si Poa and the partners for coming up with the campaign initiative.

“This peace walk has come at the right time. We urged everyone both the women and men in the community to join the young people in advocating for peace in Mathare,” he concluded.

street mentorship

Youth Group in Kisumu Impacting Children Through Life Skill Training

Economic empowerment of young people, particularly youth at risk is at the core of our organizations’ intervention. Throughout our different programs, we help “teach the youth how to fish” by training them on profitable skills like beading, soap making, and ICT to create a sustainable source of revenue which is a key pathway to crime eradication.

Denzel Pius, a class 6 student from Migos Primary School is one of the children who has benefited from one of our skills training projects. His hope is that the money gotten from beads he makes and sells will support his parents in financing his academics.

Denzel is a representation of all the children who have benefited from the bead-making sessions conducted through Kamakowa Jam Taka CBO, one of the youth partner groups in Kisumu.  

“When we first started the bead-making training over two years ago we were unable to sustain the project bringing it to a halt. As a young CBO, we lacked the finances to fund the project. We had to sort out for help. This is when we approached Crime Si Poa (CSP) who supported us immensely,” said Isaiah Adhiambo, Kamakowa Jam Taka leader. 

According to Bilha Achieng, Kamakowa Jam Taka’s secretary, since the intervention of CSP, last year the group successfully revamped the bead-making sessions, conducting two sessions a week consistently. 

“So far we have trained about 20 children between the ages of 4 and 11 years on bead-making. This has helped young people not only learn skills and earn a living but also avert crime and being in conflict with the law,” said Bilha.

Roselyn Achieng Opiyo a resident of Kamakowa and a mother to one of the beneficiaries could not hold back her gratitude for the impact the project has had on her son. Revealing that, raising a child in the slums is challenging enough, more so for a male child.  The sessions not only keep her son occupied but also made him learn a profitable skill.

“I’m very happy to see my son making these beads and my only hope is that this new skill will eventually pay off financially as it’s much needed,” added Roselyn.  

The group leader further stated that the funds gathered from the project are banked in our account and are mostly used in case of an emergency involving a child or offer support to vulnerable children or help pay for their school fees. 

“ So far we have not raised much. Our goal is to centralize the selling of the beads and look for a bigger market so that we can effectively support the children,” concluded Isaiah.

Rongai Bodaboda activation

Boda Boda Riders and Youth  in Rongai Champion for Crime Free Society

Boda Boda Activation Rongai

Boda Boda riders in partnership with young community members in Rongai, Kajiado County held a crime awareness campaign aimed at addressing high crime rates in the region that has largely affected businesses and livelihood of the community members.

Rongai has for a very long time been marked with crimes that range from theft, defilement, rape, snatching, gang groups formation and drug abuse among other crimes involving young people.

“There has been an increase in criminal activities in Ongata Rongai. We receive a lot of cases and reports and it’s a bit worrying. We must come together as a community and address the issue urgently,”  Said Halima Guyo Crime Si Poa, Project Officer, Rongai.

The event supported by Crime Si Poa, brought together members of the community to address ways of achieving a safe and secure environment for all.

“Changing the environment for the youths will impact their lives. This can only be done by involving young people in finding long-term solutions to this menace,” said Arnold Ochieng, Rongai Youth Leader.

According to the youth and the boda boda community, most youth-related crimes stem from the lack of job opportunities. The issue of unemployment continues to be a risk to the vision of attaining a crime-free society.

“The government should look out for the youth and give us jobs or at least create the opportunities. We are ready to do any work,” Allan Ngare, Boda Boda Chairman.

Stephen Kenyatta, a garbage collector in Ongata Rongai encouraged fellow youth not to be selective in their work.  The youth should take personal initiative and create opportunities for themselves.

“Crime Si Poa is the only NGO dealing with youth and crime matters in Ongata Rongai. We really appreciate their support and we are committed to changing our society for the better,” added Arnold Ochieng, Rongai Youth Leader.

The youth have expressed the need for the work Crime Si Poa is doing in the community, especially in this election period. They have also requested for an intervention in the crime-prone areas and interior parts of Rongai. According to the youth, they are ready to work with Crime Si Poa in reducing crime as well as connecting them with job opportunities.


Mentorship moves to the ground after closure of schools

Over 4,000 school-going children in Nakuru, Kisumu, Kajiado, and Nairobi Counties have immensely benefited from mentorship and skills-building programs organized by Crime Si Poa (CSP) team in partnership with Global Fund For Children. The just concluded academic term saw the team create awareness on child protection and empowering them with life skills through interacting with various mentors.

The dedicated team comprising of young community-based counselors trained by professional psychologists mentored children on areas of drug and substance abuse, reproductive health, sex education, assertiveness, behavioral change, and HIV/AIDS.

According to Eric Waweru (famously known as Croach), CSP Community Outreach Officer, the program drew students and pupils from 19 selected primary and secondary schools from across the 4 counties. The students were also trained on soap-making skills in a fun and interactive session that equipped them with entrepreneurship skills.

“This week, we held our last school mentorship sessions of a very productive term, actively imparting the young adults with the knowledge and skills they need to exercise good judgment.  Time really does fly when you’re doing something you love,” said Croach adding “ being a long holiday break we intend to move the program to the community to ensure children are protected and not in conflict with the law.”

Croach further emphasized on the dire need to impart young people with the right information to enable them to make the right decisions. The program is run with the support of the Global Fund for Children, working together in the best interest of children.

“It’s important for children to grow up with the confidence to boldly express their thoughts and beliefs and to have a strong sense of their worth. Assertiveness prepares them to stand up for their rights and fight against various forms of oppression. We thank GFC for the great support,” added Croach.

With the closure of the academic term, the Crime Si Poa team is currently working on how to effectively engage the students while they are on a holiday break.

community engagement

Kisumu Youth and Law Enforcement Agencies Collaborate In Fostering Peace and Order in the County 

Panel Discussion

Crime Si Poa on Friday, February 18th, 2022 held a community dialogue forum in Kisumu city, on building cohesion between communities and the criminal justice system. 

The forum brought together different community stakeholders, bodaboda riders, and key players in the criminal justice system including the National Police Service-NPS, The office of the Director of public prosecutions – ODPP, Kenya Independent Policing  Oversight- IPOA, Director of Criminal Investigation -DCI, Kenya Judiciary the ministry of interior and coordination of national government.  

The #BuildingVoices conversation handled various issues including access to justice, sexual harassment cases, bribery, crime, police-civil relations, the role the bodaboda community can play in helping the criminal justice system, and how the community at large can curb and maintain law and order. 

The youth used the forum to express their concerns, highlighting the laxity from the police in ensuring that young people are protected, citing that cases of drug abuse and defilement among minors have been on the rise in the area.

“Young people should feel safe growing up in Kisumu County,” said Inspector Beatrice Luvembe. “If as a young person you feel you have not been served well at the station level, you are advised to go to a higher office and seek to be heard and served and if not we have IPOA go there and complain,” she added. “We must collaborate and work together to ensure we attain justice. ” 

Magistrate Lina Akoth warned the audience that “ Despite the behavior of a minor, they are still underage and below the age of 18 years as per the Constitution of Kenya.  Please do not sexually engage or defile minors, it is a crime.”

During the dialogue, the youth also lamented against police harassment and tried to seek tentative solutions to ensure protection by the criminal justice system from rogue police officers. 

Maurine Odumba from the ODPP encouraged the youth to stand for their rights and ensure sufficient evidence to defend their complaints. “If you are wrongfully accused please provide evidence and witnesses. This is what really matters in a court of law,”  she advised.

Inspector Luvembe also discouraged the youth from giving bribes, as it encourages misconduct by rogue police officers. She further revealed that bribery is a two-way traffic and both the giver and the receiver of the bribe have committed a crime.  “ We must end this culture of impunity inculcated in us. Let us all be law-abiding citizens,” she advised. 

Inspector Luvumbe urged for more collaborative efforts between community leaders, youth groups, and the criminal justice system to ensure a safer community and crime free-city.

bodaboda campaign

We hold information that can help fight crime: Kisumu Boda Boda Riders speakout.

Kisumu Boda boda activation

Boda Boda riders commit to work with key players in the criminal justice system in Kisumu County, especially law enforcement agencies, to reveal crucial information that would help curb crime in the region.

Speaking during the Kisumu Criminal Justice Accountability Forum, held on 18th February 2022 at Mama Grace Onyango Social Hall, Kisumu, Boda boda Association Chair Donatus Obul called for collaboration between the association and law enforcement agencies in the fight against crime, which has been worryingly increasing overtime.

“We hold a lot of information that can aid in revealing criminal activities in Kisumu County. We carry these people to different places and in the process learn a lot. Let’s work together and you will be shocked by the kind of high voltage criminal information we would give out as evidence or proof of crime and perpetrators. We know them and where they are hiding from the police”, unveiled Obul.

According to Obul, Boda Boda riders have had a bad reputation labeled against them with a lot of crime linked to the riders. He affirmed that as an association there are ready to work with different stakeholders in restoring their brand.

We are law-abiding citizens and in most cases, entrusted by the majority of you in services such as dropping the young ones to school. We accept that we have a few rotten tomatoes amongst us. We will uproot them adds Obul,  further saying  “We do not allow underage riders in our association. They are the ones most used to commit crime because they are still quite gullible. Parents, please do not allow underage children to be Boda boda riders, it’s against the law”, concluded Obul.

Inspector Beatrice Luvumbe welcomed the invitation by Boda Boda riders to work together with the police noting that such community engagement will enhance the efforts of law enforcement officers, in return creating a crime-free society.

“We all have a responsibility to our safety and security.  We must hold each other accountable to create a lawful community. As a police service, we hugely rely on information coming from the public. This information helps us to fight crime. We are ready and open to work with the riders and young people at large to boost security within Kisumu County.

Earlier in the day Boda Boda raiders and youth from Kondele, Obunga, Nyalenda & Manyatta held a peaceful procession as a commitment to end crime within the city and stand for peace, especially during this election period.

community mentorship

Youth in Nakuru County Engage Authorities on Best Ways to Shan Crime

On Friday 26th November 2021, 200 youth from Nakuru County, participated in a civic education session on active citizenship, access to justice and the institutions around it, and how they can avert being in conflict with law enforcement authorities in Kenya. 

During the session held at the Nakuru Players Theatre, most youths from Nakuru town and its environment complained of victimization and unwarranted arrest from the law enforcement officers. This has led most youths to lose trust and hope in the system.

“We have been arrested countless times while going about our boda boda business. Unfortunately, we had to part away with money even though we had done no wrong. The boda boda owner also had to bribe the police despite proving that we had not broken any law,” said John, one of the youths attending the meeting. 

This was echoed by fellow youth who have found themselves wrongfully arrested for crimes they haven’t committed.

However, according to the police representative present, Ann W Lucy most youth should make efforts to know their rights and how to defend themselves rather than rushing to bribe even in incidences where they are innocent. 

“Our offices are open for complaints, especially where youth have been victimized by law enforcement officers. Always report such incidences to enable us to reform the police force and offer better services to citizens,” said Ann W Lucy. 

Other than a representation from the National Police Service, the event organized by the Youth Safety Awareness Initiative (Crime Si Poa ®) was also attended by representatives from the Office of The Director of Public Prosecutions, Boda Boda officials, and civil society players from the region. 

Youth were urged to ensure they participate in public discourse on issues affecting them and exercise their civic duties and democratic rights such as registering as voters to be able to elect viable leaders who will represent their interest at all levels. 

“Youth must engage in decision-making, especially by participating in the electoral process come 2022. As a youth, we must ensure we vote in leaders who have our interests at heart and will represent our issues at both the county and national level,” concluded, Abubakar Bilal of Uraia.

From the intense engagements during the forum, it was noted that there is a need for more collaborative efforts to help tackle issues of youth, civic education, and crime. The Crime Si Poa team promised to organize more forums to foster a crime-free society.