The Jitokeze Project aims at reducing the spread and influence of violent extremism among youth in challenging urban contexts. The project will achieve this by building resilience at personal and family levels against urban push factors that cause young people with multiple barriers to embrace extremism and violence. SOWED Kenya is implementing the Jitokeze project in Kamukunji Sub-County, from April 2019 to January 2020 with funding from Global Center on Cooperative Security. The project will be targeting 2000 youth and 200 families through integrated school-based approaches that have family-based interventions.
Background and Justification
Globally, violent extremism presents one of the biggest threats to peace and security. Rapid and large-scale urbanization have been changing the face of urban landscapes on the African continent. In Kamukunji, rapid urban development and the attendant challenges have resulted in the breakdown of social support systems with the sense of ‘urban disenchantment and loss of hope among the youth confined in geographical locations with populations from multiple cultures, religions, ethnic and national backgrounds transmuting into breeding grounds for radicalization and extremism.
The overarching goal of this Project is to reduce the spread and influence of violent extremism among youth in challenging urban contexts. The project plans to achieve this by building resilience at personal, family, institutional and community levels against urban push and pull factors that cause young people with multiple barriers to embrace radicalization, extremism and violence.
To establish a community of 200 in-school peer mentors between the ages of 13-18 years who are supported to anchor 2000 young people in difficult contexts Kamukunji over a 6 months period.
To build the capacity of 200 families in Kamukunji as “front-line” actors in facilitating youth-family based social networks & strengthening family commitments.
The project adopts the CorStone (2016) Youth First Model (YF), an evidence-based, teacher-facilitated, and school-based resilience program, to develop personal and social capabilities, including self-awareness, self-management, social awareness and social management skills amongst youths.
The project encompasses 5 interrelated domains of partnership, leadership, teaching, support, and referral. The domain of partnership will prioritize strengthening of family-based social networks – and particularly parental influence on youth, increase links between individuals and the broader family, develop and strengthen family commitments against extremism and violence, and build family member awareness of violent radicalization signs and prevention techniques.