A Non-Governmental Organization has partnered with 15 youth groups in Garissa County to combat radicalization and violent extremism among the youth.
Youth Arts Development and Entrepreneurship Network (YADEN) runs a youth empowerment and engagement programme in East Africa aimed at promoting unity among young people and creating an extensive network to tackle violent extremism at the grassroots.
Speaking in Garissa town today after meeting youth groups and law enforcement officers, YADEN director Sami Gathii said the programme will focus on sensitizing the youth on their role in fighting radicalization and violent extremism.
He said there has been interventions on violent extremism leading to terrorism but the impact ‘was not as much’ noting that ‘one of the gaps is lack of direct involvement of the youth.
“Its high time the young people took a leading role in the fight against violent extremism and radicalization that will make them feel they own the initiative,” he said.
The programme dubbed ‘insolidarity’ is running in six counties of Kilifi, Kwale, Nairobi, Mombasa, Taita Taveta and Garissa ‘where violent extremism is prevalent.’
Gathii said the NGO aims to reach at least 300 youth groups both formal and informal and consolidating between 3,000 and 10,000 young people who will be directly addressing the threat by reaching out to their friends, family members and colleagues.
Banazir Mohammed of Silver Lining Kenya thanked YADEN for bringing young people together to fight violent extremism that is a threat to the future security of the country.
Garissa deputy commissioner Hiddi Galgallo said security officers are willing to work with all NGOs with clear agenda to fight violent extremism among the youth.