KENYA: Youth empowered to tell their stories
Bosco Eastern Africa Multimedia Services provides media training for poor youth
(MissionNewswire) Bosco Eastern Africa Multimedia Services (BEAMS) is located within the Don Bosco Youth Educational Services in Nairobi, Kenya. The organization provides media training for youth and prepares them for the workforce. Youth leave the training with more confidence, better self-esteem and an improved psychological outlook.
Youth in the training program come from living in conditions of poverty. Many have had trauma in their childhoods that has affected their ability to relate with other members of the community. The aim is to positively impact their lives by allowing them to tell their own stories and helping them overcome their current situation.
The students in the program have shared their stories in the form of documentaries to highlight the challenges they have been through, as well as how they have overcome these to lead a better life. The documentaries also showcase different commonalities that bridge culture and ethnic divides. Teaching youth to produce a documentary instills discipline, confidence and leadership. Students also learn tolerance, cooperation and respect.
“We have been striving to empower youth to enhance their capabilities in the use of media including computer applications, use of equipment for documentary production, and improving social, cultural, moral, and ethical competencies through film,” said a Salesian missionary. “Our training targets youth mostly from Nairobi, especially from the disadvantaged areas of Dagoretti Market, Karinde and Mutuini, all in our locality. This training takes youth away from harmful behaviors like drug abuse which is rampant in these areas.”
At BEAMS, youth receive training in theoretical and practical aspects of music production and sound engineering, photography and graphic design, and video production. The Salesian missionary added, “All this helps to foster leadership skills for social development, as well as improving self-esteem and encouraging personal development. In return, this brings about a changes in attitudes toward young people, as communities appreciate the potential of young people.”
According to the World Bank, more than 7.8 million people in Kenya are living in extreme poverty, with the majority in rural areas. There are approximately 6.6 million people living on less than $1.90 a day in rural regions, while 1.1 million extremely poor people live in urban areas. Overall, the poverty incidence declined in recent years, but at a lower rate in urban areas than rural ones.
Youth living in Kenya’s larger cities like Nairobi are at risk for exploitation, forced labor and other abuses. Few attend the later stages of school as compared to those living in Kenya’s more rural areas. The few schools serving this disadvantaged community are beyond the financial means of most families.
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Salesian Missions – Kenya
World Bank – Kenya