Think Positive Alternatives Exist

The problem facing many Kenyan young adults is lack of alternative means of livelihood. In this regard, abject poverty, unemployment, lack of social amenities, poor infrastructures, environmental degradation coupled with climatically changes have seriously affected many Kenyans, particularly the rural and poor urban residents. In Kenya, about 56% of the population lives in extreme poverty. The country is experiencing economic decline from 5.8% in 2005 to 4.8% in 2011. A recent UN-habitat report indicates that the majority of poor Kenyans live in rural areas (about 70% of the entire population), and 71% of urban population are poor living in biting poverty in slums.

The country has high unemployment which is at 40%. As a result, the majority of the poor cannot afford basic needs: food, safe water, electricity, health, and decent housing or shelter. Specifically, some of these problems are mainly attributed to a lack of awareness of available resources and opportunities within people’s reach due to over dependence on formal employment. Besides, poor people are not aware of their constitutional rights to access available resources such as the Youth Enterprise Development Fund, Constituency Development Fund (CDF), Women Fund and HIV/AIDS Fund. ‘Think Positively Alternative Exist’ (TPAE) seeks to empower rural and poor urban Kenyans with innovative and socio-economic skills that will enable them to be self-supportive socially and economically, and regain a sense of purpose. Through workshops, trainings, research, regional and national exhibitions, TPAE fosters and promotes positive attitudes towards alternative ways of dealing with socio-economic issues in rural and poor urban settlements in Kenya.

Unlike some governmental and non-governmental organizations that use a rather paternalistic approach to poverty alleviation, such as giving handouts, JHC through TPAE believes that people are agents of change to their dehumanizing socio-economic situation. As such, through the TPAE team, JHC helps participants identify existing talents within their specific contexts, guide them to innovatively improve on these talents, provide them with technical and professional skills that will help them scale up their innovative ideas into source of livelihood as a wide solution to socio-economic challenges of their context and the country at large, particularly in such areas as agriculture, off-grid energy, environmental conservation, and health and technology sectors.

What are intended outcomes of the project?

1. Increased awareness on the need to identify and harness alternative mechanisms to reduce vulnerability to poverty; Development of innovative ideas addressing community needs in the 3 counties of Kisii, Machakos and Kakamega in Kenya; youth and women with ability to employ innovation and creativity in solving community challenges; livelihood ideas which are practical and transformational effect wider change.

2. Improved income generation capacity of youth and women in 3 counties of Kisii, Machakos and Kakamega in Kenya between 2017 and 2020 compared with community and individual perception of income generation in previous years.

3. Clear road map developed as an outcome of the External Evaluation shaping the future of the TPAE Program; improved design of the TPAE program and improved identification of the indicators to measure its success; increased donor interest in the TPAE and expansion of its services and improvement in the uptake on innovative plans into 2018 – 2020.

What is the related indicator for each outcome?

1. Increased livelihood innovations between 2018 and 2020 which address community needs nurtured through the TPAE Program as compared to innovations in previous years; Increased number of innovators seeking state support through the various funds like Uwezo, Youth and women enterprises kitty from 2017 onwards to 2020. Submission to the county assemblies by innovators for prioritization of support to TPAE graduates.

2. Increased number of new innovations which have improved the income generation capacity of youth and women that were nurtured through TPAE Program in 2016 and 2017 compared to number of innovations in previous years; Increase in no of new innovations that developed within the 2017-2020 period from participants involved in TPAE III which led to improved income generation; Improvement in the level of income generation of the above innovations compared to the level of income generation of the individual /family/ and community group prior to the innovation coming to fruition.

3. Long term success indicators like new income levels, duplicated innovations (replicability) and employment opportunities created included in the project design. Improvement in the collection of data each year in relation to previous TPAE Programs up to 4 years following the program; evidence of change in the design of TPAE to reflect the longer term qualitative data being collected; list of donors and their % input into JHC between 2016-2020 compared to previous years and improvement in diversification of funds; amount of overall annual income of JHC between 2016-2020 compared to previous years.