Sudden Stop of the National Youth Service (NYS) Project

November 13, 2015
Mathare Cohorts working in an NYS Project in Mathare Slum. PHOTO by Richard Chapia.

Mathare Cohorts working in an NYS Project in Mathare Slum. PHOTO by Richard Chapia.

They saw it as a blessing from heaven to the youths of Mathare Constituency who did not have a stable source of livelihood. Even those who were out of school saw it as what they needed. Then after corruption allegations in the (NYS) National Youth Service Project were confirmed and the people involved relieved off their duties. Our blessing or I should say what many of us saw as an income generating activity came to an end.

“We will have to break for two weeks then thereafter we would know what to do next,” said NYS officer in charge of Mathare 3C village. Those words sunk the hope of many who thought the NYS project had at least made them put something on their tables for their loved ones or rather kept them busy. With gloomy faces, they dispersed only themselves knowing what went into their minds. Now they are jobless. What would they do? Where will they get jobs? What about the plans they had put in place with the money they earned from the project every Friday? “Manze kismart yetu imego ivo bila kupelekwa na rada eti soon works inakatika Mathare na tutakuwa jobless,” one of the youths was overheard saying. (Our manner had come to abrupt end, not even giving an early clue that soon many of the youths of Mathare would be left jobless once again).

For a moment they thought that this, once the hub of all kinds of negative vices, would be free of that because there would be jobs for at least a big number of the youths in mathare thus none of them would think of committing any of the vices. Now the question is: What now would be of them? Are the youths in Mathare going to remain idle and do nothing?

Report compiled by:
Stacy Adhiambo & Ronald Odhaimbo

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