Best Ideas 2019 features all the nominated entries submitted under ‘Submit your Idea’ category. All the entries consist of innovative solutions or propositions for an enterprise that champions the Sustainable Development Goals. They can be on the conceptual, planning, or start-up stage.
WATOTO WETU(Our Children)
Explain your idea in details:
Sexual abuse of children and teens is a worrying trend in many rural communities in Kenya. Teenagers are constantly exposed to the danger of being defiled by an adult or someone in authority. Some of these abuses end up in pregnancies. Schools are no longer safe havens for kids as many teachers and educators have turned into sex predators. Often, these cases are not reported to authorities, and of those reported, many are dropped either due to ignorance, lack of trust in the judicial system, poverty (not being able to afford related fees and expenses) or fear of retaliation. Most girls and boys who are exposed to violence live in isolation, loneliness, and fear and do not know where to turn for help.We want to be their safe refuge to seek for help. Our strategies include (1)-Educating the community on the need and means of protection of children rights as accorded by the constitution of Kenya and the IHRL.(2)-Challenging and changing the negative cultural norms that intensify sexual abuse of children.(3)-Helping adults develop and maintain a healthy relationship with youth in their communities.(4)-Working with local youth workers and law enforcement to enforce existing laws pertaining to protection of children rights.(5)-Providing comprehensive and age-appropriate education about Sex and Sexuality, decision making, goal setting and the rights of children as safeguarded by the constitution. (6)-Providing support for teen parents during and after pregnancy to help them cope with life after pregnancy. These include mentorship, programmatic activities to build self-confidence and self-esteem and improve decision making as well as provide opportunity to continue their educational pursuits.
Expected impact of your idea on sustainable development
Breaking the persistent cycle of poverty, and thereby achieving sustainable development, in rural Kenya demands that we create a safe environment for the physical, cognitive, social and emotional development of young people. Kenyas youth population is among the highest globally. If harnessed, the youth population could provide the economy with vibrant manpower, leading to substantial social and economic benefits for their communities and society at large. Victims of sexual abuse suffer deep psychological wounds that if not addressed could lead to a myriad of health, physical and emotional issues. These may manifest in the form of substance abuse, depression, suicidal thoughts, increased engagement in high risk sexual behaviors among other. To have a self-sustaining society, we need a psychologically and emotional healthy population. Chances of abused youth contracting HIV/AIDS, STIs and other sexually transmitted diseases are very increased. Adolescent pregnancy is among the commonest risk factors exposing young girls to HIV, AIDS and STIs. A young population that is largely sick drains the community of the resources it needs to be self-sustaining. The future of both individuals and their societies are at risk. One of the immediate outcomes of teen pregnancy in Kenya is school dropout. With no proper education and skills, these teens are not able to support themselves, their children and their future endeavors. Education is vital to a thriving society. Violence against children slows social progress by generating huge economic costs, hindering sustainable development and eroding human capital(UN). Our project supports the UN's 2030 Agenda Sustainable development Goal 16.
Plans for implementation and sustainability
We aim to collaborate with members of the local community (Faith-based, learning institutions, community health practitioners, youth workers, decision makers and law enforcement), local youth and teens as well as the regional and global community to implement these objectives. The objectives will be implemented as follows: 1. Community mobilization to ensure the project has community support. We aim to Hold preliminary meetings with community leaders and enlist their support to mobilize community participation 2.Equipping Leaders-individuals who have passion for the work we aim to do and are available to implement strategies and influence people for the cause. The key component here is Training. 3.Equipping mentors-the individuals to run with the vision. This is achieved through regular training and recognition of the contribution of mentors to the project goals. 4. Financial resource mobilization-to support the establishment, the running and expansion of the project. Sources of finance for the projects include: Personal contributions, individual donations, corporate contribution, foundation grants, crowdfunding and annual fundraising campaigns. Of these sources, we target individual donations as the backbone of our funding.
I am a 34 year old Kenyan residing in the United States. I was born and raised in rural Kenya. In a family of 7 sisters, 3 of my sisters had babies while still in school. My younger sister was rapped by an assistant principal in her school. She was in 7th grade! She had a baby, who has several forms of disability. Even though my family supported my sister and her educational pursuits, they, just like the rest of the community, did not want to face her molester. The family was very poor, so they didn't think they can fight and win! I now take care of this child. This makes this project very close to my heart. My sisters case is not an isolated case, its kind of the norm, with the exception that most girls do not have parents who would support them through their ordeal. Most drop out of school, and end up being forced into marriage. I have worked with my community on several projects. Most notable is a project to bring safe and clean water within 500 meters of every household in my community. This costed over $150,000, an amount I was able to raise in about 2 years. I am a graduate of University of Northern Colorado with B.A International Affairs(minor in Sociology). I currently work for a non-profit dedicated to long term and wholesome development of Children in poverty around the world. Prior to this, I worked as a youth worker-guiding and supporting young people in their personal, social and educational development to help them reach their full potential in society. In these roles, I have gathered a lot of skills and experience serving children and youth. My experience will be key in the success of this project.