A visit To LungaLunga Youth Centre
OAY in collaboration with U tena, Nairobits, KU Nutrition club, Dandora TVET, and Maasai Mara Technical and Training Institute, got the opportunity to visit Lungalunga Youth Centre for a second time on March 22, 2022, where we met adolescents who had dropped out of school and recapped on how they were doing since the last time we visited them. To start off the meeting, Margaret Akinyi facilitated a Q&A session to get to hear how they were doing and how the program has changed their lives. On a positive note, the teens were very pleased with the program, and they confessed how much it has transformed them and were now willing and ready to go back to school. Some stated that they had inquired and contacted the schools they wanted to join for secondary and Tvet programs.
We were accompanied by a number of speakers from different organizations who interacted with the teens and provided very helpful information to better the lives of these young boys and girls. The major topics of the day were nutrition, opportunities and application procedures in Tvets, mental health and digitalization of employment, and skills.
Good feeding habits and a well-balanced diet are very essential to the life of a baby and the mother. Mercy and Cynthia from Kenyatta University took the teens through a health and nutrition session since most of the girls in the audience were young mothers. The speakers emphasized that malnourished babies have delayed milestones (sitting down, crawling walking, etc.). To overcome this challenge they were advised to give a well-balanced diet to the babies that comprise all essential nutrients such as carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, calcium, zinc, and iron. In addition to this, the speakers gave them a breakdown of a well-balanced affordable meal.
Since a larger group of the audience were willing to go back to school and get skills that will help them secure a good future for themselves, we had teachers Faith and Patrick from Greenlight Dandora, who encouraged the adolescents to register for any course in the colleges around their area to gain skills whether in solar and electrical installation, hairdressing and beauty, dressmaking or even learning computer packages. The speakers also took them through the procedures for applying for these courses and the duration they take to complete them. Mrs. Terry from Maasai Technical and Training Institute (MTTI) advised the teens on the courses they offer at their college in Kajiado, the procedure for application, and the opportunities they have. She also emphasized that they should take advantage of government funding, such as HELB.
Digitalization is becoming a norm, with the growth of the internet worldwide, everything has been digitized. Edwin from Nairobits encouraged the adolescents to make use of their smartphones or their parents’ phones to make a living out of them. One can earn online through blogging, digital marketing, or learning a skill on YouTube such as baking and turning it into a business idea.
Lastly, Irene of U-tena tackled mental health. She advised the teens not to let depression and stress get to them, but to think beyond where they are. She added that life is worth living.