Who is Charles ?
I am a 28-year-old youth leader from Yatta Sub-County, Machakos County, Kenya. My journey in community development began in 2012, after completing my secondary school education. Eager to make a positive impact, I became engaged with the community developmental sector. I was recognized and selected by World Vision to be their referral actor in Yatta Sub-County. My responsibilities included advocating for good access to suitable wheelchairs and white canes, which greatly improve the mobility of Persons With Disabilities (PWDs). I enrolled in IT classes at the Machakos Institute for The Blind in 2016. This experience broadened my perspective on how technology can be used to help people with disabilities. In 2018 and 2019, I further expanded my skill set by acquiring leadership skills from the Site organization, in collaboration with Blind and Low Vision Network in Kenya. In 2020, I joined the Tipy organization, where I developed my skills in dealing with different personnel. My dedication and hard work led me to be trained as a civic educator by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) in 2021. Through this program, I gained a deep understanding of civic education and how to educate people about their rights and responsibilities as citizens. All the knowledge and skills I have acquired came from my lobbying skills, which I obtained from Youth Alive! Kenya. I am grateful for all the opportunities I have been given and remain committed to making a positive impact in my community.
Tell us about your work in the community
As an informed youth leader in my community, I am dedicated to promoting positive development and growth. I refer community members to relevant government and private agencies where they can access the services and resources they need. Additionally, I organize and conduct training sessions to help them identify and take advantage of the available opportunities. Addressing the issue of drugs and substance abuse among young people in my community is a top priority. To combat this issue, I work with youth groups to raise awareness about the dangers of substance abuse and promote healthy lifestyles. I am also committed to promoting transparency and good governance in my community. I provide training to youth groups on proper documentation and record-keeping practices. Additionally, I share lobbying strategies and project management techniques to help the community groups effectively advocate for their needs and manage their projects efficiently.
What are your proudest achievements as a young leader?
I take great pride in the work I have done to unite my community through the formation of self-help groups and Community-Based Organizations (CBOs). Working together, we have been able to address the critical issue of climate change by constructing several earth dams to harvest water and plant trees. Through my leadership in Jimuhudu for Persons with Disabilities, we have been able to acquire tents as an income-generating activity. This success has motivated other groups in our community to consider similar projects, and we are proud to be a catalyst for positive change. Additionally, we have acquired a piece of land and are working towards the construction of a group office, storage facility, and conference hall, which will provide much-needed resources and benefit the community at large
I appreciate Youth Alive! Kenya for their support in building the capacity of young people. Their programs have equipped many youths with leadership skills to coach their communities towards achieving their goals. Youth Alive! Kenya’s dedication to empowering the youth is invaluable, and I look forward to seeing the continued positive impact of their efforts.