June 16, 2024

Coast Youth Declare War Against Radicalization and Crime

A young boy believed to have been radicalized (Photo/ Courtesy)

By Rehema jilo

Email, thecoastnewspaper@gmail.com

Mombasa December 6, 2023: Coast region youth have declared war on radicalization and violent extremism that have bedeviled the young population.

To promote peace in the region, the youth between 18 and 24 years from six regional counties are using their social media platforms to influence peace and campaign against crime activities.

Coastal youths have been identified as perpetrators of social vices, but those behind this programme want to debunk the narrative through suppressing crime levels and promoting peaceful coexistence amongst region’s communities.

Kisauni subcounty deputy commissioner Jamlek Mbuba pledged his support to ensure area and Mombasa County at large enjoyed peace and tranquility during this festive season.

The DCC said security has been beefed up during this festive season warning youth who engage in criminal activities will be dealt with.

Dream Achievers youth organization executive director Seif Jira urged the youths to stand against crime and fight criminals among themselves.

Jira termed the ongoing campaigns as a game changer for the perennial challenge of insecurity in the region during holiday festivities.

“We want to urge our youth to remain as peace ambassadors because they have an obligation to ensure a peaceful society,” he said.

The event had brought together youth from different parts of region to showcase their roles promoting peace.

In the “Influencer 4 Peace” project – supported by DW Akademie and its local partner, the Dream Achievers Youth Organization (DAYO), the youths are using their extensive uses of social media to counter cybercrimes and online violence.

The youth behind this is Esha Mohammed, 26, from Mombasa. She is using her social media following to counter violence online while encouraging others to follow suit.

“Youth are the best people to talk about peace because most times they are the perpetrators. We are changing the narrative by facing the challenges head on. As influencers, we have a role to ensure a peaceful society and that’s exactly what we are doing, preaching peace,” she said.

There is also Hilary Soh Ojiambo from Kilifi who runs campaign against hatespeech and Victor Odongo from Jomvu subcounty who runs campaigns against drugs and substance.

Others are Victor Odongo a actor who is using his influence to champion for peace through creation of video clips.

Mishi said Abudi from Jomvu and Madaraka Kafua together have a following of 5,000 on their social media platforms.

 “When a youth talks about peace, fellow youth listen keenly inlike when police or other actors talk about it, we have given youth the space to preach against social vices like crime and drugs,” said Sophie Pwani, an influencer for peace coordinator.

Yusuf Mwalago programs coordinator influencer for peace programs in the Dayo orgnisation said the 12 youth who are currently part of the project were selected through a vigorous vetting process out of 720 applicants.

The “Influencer 4 Peace” project is supported by the German Federal Foreign Office. It focuses on fostering peace-building dialogues and empowering young people in the coastal region of Kenya.

Twelve young people who are trained in the competencies of Media Information Literacy (MIL), leadership and advocacy are leading the campaign.

According to Mwalago Part of the objective is for participants to engage as role models, particularly on social media, and to pass on knowledge to their peers.

“In direct contact with their communities, they sensitize others to recognize propaganda and disinformation. In this way, they engage in exchange and initiate dialogue so that young people can make informed decisions and become more resilient to radicalization,” he said.

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