Consider two Kenyan children born on the same day in 2000. Mwikali is born to a poor family living in a rural area of kangundo, Eastern province, about 80 kilometers from Nairobi city. Her mother had no formal scholling and is the sole bread winner of the family. To make ends meet, the mother engages in petty trade and mainly subsistence farming. Kamau, however, is born to a wealthy family living in a Nairobi’s famous suburb. His mother completed post-graduate education at the prestigious Freiburg University, Gernmany. Kamau’s mother works as a professional with a leading international organizational based in Nairobi.
On the day of their birth, both mwikali and kamau could not be held responsible for their family circumstances: their ethnicity, their parent’s income and education, their urban or rural location, or indeed their sex. Yet statistics suggested that those predetermined background variables will make a major difference for the livers they lead.
Given these inequalities, and going by international standards (world development report 2006, Equity and development; World bank); wmikali has a 7.2 percent chances of dying in the first year of her life. More than twice kamau’s 3 percent. Kamau can look forward to 68 years of life, mwikali to 50. Kamau can expect to complete 12 years of formal schooling, mwikali less than 1 year.
Mwikali is likely to be much poorer than kamau through out her life. Growing up, she is less likely to have access to clean water, good food, basic health-care and sanitation, or to good schooling. So the opportunities these two children face to reach their full human potential are vastly different from the outset, though through no fault of their own.
Such disparities in opportunity translate into different abilities into different to contribute to kenya’s economic development. Mwikali’s health at birth may have been poorer, owing to the poor nutrition of her mother during her pregnancy.
By virtue of their gender socilisation, their geographical location, and their access ton school. Kamau is more likely to acquire an education that will enable him to put his to put his innate talents to full use unlike mwikali whose chances acquiring a descent education are very slim.
Even if at the age of 25 and despite the odds, mwikali manages to come up with a great business idea (Such as an innovation to increase agricultural production in kangundo), she would find use difficult to peruse a bank to lend her money at a reasonable rate. Kamau, having a similarly bright idea (say, to import used cars and other mechanized from Dubai or Japan) , would likely find it easier to obtain credit, with both a college degree and quite possibly some collateral. The thing is, in many developing countries (Kenya included), in actions of the state in providing services magnify – rather than attenuate at birth.
A guiding principle is to shape public actions so that the acquisition of human capacities is not driven by circumstances of their birth, although it can reflect people’s preferences, taste and talents. Because differences in cognitive development start to widen from a very early age, early childhood development initiatives can be central to more equal opportunities.
So as striking as the differences in life chances are between mwikali and kamau, they are dwarfed by the disparities between average Kenyans and their overly rich counterparts. These differences of socioeconomic opportunity lead to wasted human potential and thus missed development opportunities at any given time.
The first reason is that the interconnection and realities of the inequalities and differences imply that some groups have consistently inferior opportunities – economic, social and political – than their fellow citizens. Most people feel that these egregious disparities violate a sense of fairness, particular when the individuals involved can little to redeem themselves.
Given this background, Youth roho moja na kenya (yrmk) established a development agenda that emphasized equality and development tailor-made for the youth to address the inequality issues discussed above. By equity, we mean that individuals should have equal opportunities to pursue a life of their choosing and be spared the agony of extreme deprivation in all spheres of upshots. The main message is that equity is contemplementary, in some elemental respects, to the pursuit of long-term prosperity.
The questions in this case, are: how can a country of kenya’s standing collectively achieve equity for everyone, especially the youths? What is the mechanism by which “equity” shall be achieved? Are the implications of revolutionaries advocate killing the rich and redistributing their property the way forward? How about when capitalists advocating for sound investment of capital to produce more capital?
Institution and policies that promote a level playing field – where all young members of the society have similar chances to become socially active, politically influential, and economically productive – contribute to sustainable growth and development.
Greater equity is thus doughty good for poverty reduction through potential beneficiary effects on cumulative long-run development and through greater opportunities for poorer groups within any society.
Inequality is, to say the least, objectionable on both intrinsic and instrumental grounds. It contributes to economic inefficiency, political conflict and institutional frailty. We argue that an equity lens enhance the poverty reduction agenda.
The poor (especially the youth) general have a less voice, less income and less access to services than most other people. When societies become more equitable in ways that lead to greater opportunities for all, the poor stand to benefit a “double divided.” First, expanded services benefit the directly, through greater participation in the development process.
One manifestation of the greater participation of the poor in economic growth is fact that growth elasticity of poverty reduction falls with greater income inequality. In other words, the impact of (the same amount of) growth on poverty reduction is significantly greater when initial income inequality is lower.
Therefore, bringing equality to the centre of development builds on and integrates the major emphases in development thinking, on human development, on governance and on empowerment of human capacities. Greater equality can, over the long term, underpin faster development.
Okoa Vijana Compaign is a youth initiative for the youth and is committed to contribute to the sustainable development among the youth across kenya by implementing development projects.
According to current statistics (national census 2009), the youths constitute well above half of kenya’s population. Shamelessly, most of these youths are listed as unemployed or inactive and are dependent on others for survival. For this reason, the future of our country faces a major challenge given that a whooping 50 per of its youthful population is unproductive and is listed under “wasted education”.
Okoa Vijana Compaign seeks to overcome these challenges by creating, developing and implementing viable economic policies and programme activities that favour the youth. We seek to nurture untapped talents and skills in our youth.
We believe in working together with the youth in various communities in the country so that the various initiatives established for the empowerment of the youth can be sustained. We intends to continue with the efforts in improving the lives of the youth. We facilitate an integrated rural development approach that enables households, more especially the youth, to become self-reliant.
This result-oriented programme activities have enabled the youth in targeted communicaties (mainly slums and rural areas) to improve on their economic probity, food self-sufficiency and household livelihood security.
Okoa Vijana Campaign Kenya being a country riddled inequalities; the gap between the rich and poor is too wide. The first reason is that the intercourse and resilience of these inequalities and difference imply that some groups have consistently inferior opportunities – economic, social and political – than their fellow citizens. Most people feel that these egregious disparities violate a sense of fairness, particularly when the individuals involved can do little to redeem themselves as the case inherent in the youth. Regrettably , poverty, joblessness, tribal conflicts, land clashes, political chauvinism, brain drain and brain waste, inadequate and substandard housing, lack of viable economic, lack of clear policies on youth affairs, disease and many other social problems affecting the youth have jointly made life for the youth a difficulty and dangerous affair.
To address these issues, Okoa Vijana Campaign was established to look into ways through which the youth can be salvaged from the jaws of the above mentioned inequalities. The main entry point has been economic empowerment aimed at achieving equity and development among the youth.