Community Resource Centers’ Potential on Youth Empowerment

Kenyan Comedian-turning-politician Felix Odiwour a.k.a. Jalang’o / Google images

In Nairobi, the discovery of 21 dead human bodies in a river occurring simultaneously with diplomats’ terror warning put the residents between global and local terrorism.

In what has become like an annual ritual, the Nairobi-based western diplomats, led by France and the U.S. this time, sounded terror warnings for their citizens who reside in Kenya.

The same week local police announced the discovery of 21 dead human bodies dumped in River Yala.

It was the founder of the Christian faith who said: ‘O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh Matthew 12:34 (KJV).’

The almost immediate high profile arrest of a wanted locally-born terrorist who had hidden in the Democratic Republic of Congo and an explosion of a public service vehicle plying a northern Kenya route is being linked to the diplomats’ terror warnings.

A young university lad was identified as the wanted terrorist who was arrested, while one of few identified from among the 21 dead bodies discovered in river Yala was a young police officer.

Jesus, concerned of the predictability of the evil-inclined humanity, challenged, ‘how can ye, being evil, speak good things?’ He posed.

The human soul, which Jesus referred to as ‘the heart,’ feeds on words: ‘… out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things (verse 35).’

The viper effect, used by Jesus to describe the predatory nature of humanity, implies human motivations’ self-centeredness. The centeredness led to Jesus’ death when one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, sought to profit.

Global and local terror, as offsprings of humanity’s self-centeredness, exemplify humanity’s existential and development struggles.

Nairobi’s Regional Significance

As a regional hub, Nairobi’s social, political, economic, and technological indices are implied in the 177 million East African residents.

With such a magnitude of aspirations and of inspirations, Nairobi’s roaming wild and domestic terrorists are disconcerting. 

Comedian’s Suggestion

Community programs to provide social vents could benefit from empirical inputs. Despite, for example, a decade of the youngest ever executives – in the form of President Uhuru Kenya and Deputy President William Ruto – Kenya’s sports and the arts scene is still unremarkable.

A comedian’s recommendation that could have been missed by many provides a ray of hope to the developing world youth unemployment.

Speaking on Nation TV, Felix Odiwour a.k.a Jalang’o, comedian turned politician, suggested the adoption of community resource centers.

Ideal community resource centers – chosen, implemented, and run by the community – run on empirical information.

Emphasis on empirical data ensures that the vested interests of the minority do not choke the resource center. The initial research helps to develop credible benchmarks for future evaluation.

When run by the community, the scalability and flexibility of a resource center make it a powerful tool.

In East Africa, for example, tackling the skills gap and mismatch could be the present major problem. However, other social variables are taking prominence.

Like many others, the arrested terrorist associated with the recent Nairobi diplomats’ terror alert turned out to be a young, bright university lad, while one – of few identified – 21 dead bodies was of a policeman.

A community resource center’s flexibility and scalability will allow the adoption of such new variables and develop rapid research programs for strategy development.

Since resource centers are ideally resident-owned and approved, they provide a platform for the prioritization of the community’s ‘self-centeredness’.

The resource center derives legitimacy from the community and serves as an ideal platform to respond to Jesus’ challenge to the humanity of providing for the ‘… abundance of the heart, from which ‘… [community’s] mouth speaketh.’



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