Changing the Community One Maskani Conversation at a Time

1 county, 30 Maskanis each with approximately 20 people, 15 interfaith youth members and only ONE day to hold conversations highlighting issues affecting youth, women and men in the society.

From engaging in Boda Boda conversations on security, challenges in their line of work…

Also, Wamama wa Sokoni weren’t left out on issues that are affecting them especially single mothers who leave their young vulnerable children alone as they fend for their families…

It is halfway through the day and the youth steadily moved on to different locations for more Maskani conversations…

The conversation progressed to young men who are struggling through joblessness despite their creativity and artistry.

Then moved to deep conversations with young women whose biggest concern was young girls trading their bodies and dignity for essential things such as sanitary towels.

To fishermen at Old Town addressing insecurity issues which is a major concern to them.

To conversations held outdoors with young men in Mtaani…

To conversations held with women inside their homes…

Maskani visits are a unique way of harnessing, addressing and dealing with issues facing different groups in the community. It is a way of just holding easy conversations that seek to address pressing issues among different members of society.

8 hours and 30 Maskanis later the discussions had been around insecurity, peace, extremism, police brutality, effects of COVID-19, child labour, early pregnancies, lack of job opportunities for the youth which leads to dependency on drugs, and involvement in gangs. Also, cases of young girls getting involved with older men to survive leading to the rise of early pregnancies and rape cases as women are out fending for their families thus leaving young girls vulnerable to pedophiles.

This program seeks to contribute to an inclusive, cohesive and accountable society through increased citizen engagement in governance and strengthened accountability and independence of governance structures and institutions at the local and national levels. With such conversations, the youth, women and young men can be empowered on the way they can be able to sustain themselves or get involved in activities in the community to sustain, uphold and maintain peace.

By

Mary Ndulili

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