Interview with Johnson, a 22-year-old sponsored youth from the Nairobi project in Kenya, with an introduction by Peter Ndungo, Nairobi project coordinator.
In the present day, youth can fall prey to negative social and cultural factors. Fear, misinformation, indecisiveness and peer pressure continue to be hurdles that the youth face. Besides academics, the youth need an opportunity to engage in extra curriculum activities, youth exchange programs and forums, this helps them grow socially.
There was a call to initiate a program that would address their social and emotional needs, aside from the academic needs that the project meets with the assistance of sponsors. The youth program was the ideal way to reach out to the youth, to give them support and encouragement in their lives.
Q. Please describe your family situation.
A. My father lost his job a few years back, forcing him, my mother and two siblings to go back to our rural home. Since we do not have a farm, my parents usually cultivate the land for people on their farms at a fee. My mother sometimes does household chores for people at their homes, like washing clothes, cleaning and cooking.
Q. What are you studying?
A. I am studying at the PCEA community center in Eastleigh, taking a course in automotive engineering.
Q. When will you complete your studies?
A. I am pursuing a diploma, it will take me three years to complete the course. I am now in my second year.
Q. Please describe a challenge you have in your life.
A. The fact that I do not stay with my parents is really hard on me. Sometimes I do not have enough fare or none at all to get to school. There are times I have to walk to college. During lunch hour, I often go hungry. It makes me feel so inferior in the eyes of my college mates.
Q. What do you like about the youth program, and how has it helped you?
A. The youth program allows us to speak out our challenges. It promotes interaction amongst the youth. As an individual, the youth program has been a source of inspiration and motivation. It has helped me cultivate confidence. At the youth forums, I have gathered advice that helps me keep going, regardless of my circumstances.
Q. What is your dream?
A. My dream is to be prosperous in life, to help change my familyís way of life.
Interview was conducted by Regina Mburu of CFCA’s Kenya communication center. You can read more about the youth program on our website.