In a move aimed at helping young people attain better prospects in life, UN-HABITAT is embarking on a new campaign in Kenya to partner with the private sector to achieve this goal.
Spearheaded by the agency’s Partners and Youth section, the initiative will seek to get big business to underwrite activities aimed at improving the lives of young people. And it is not just another project in quest of financial help – it is also seeking resources and mentoring.
“It will be a good investment for example, if a cement manufacturing firm allocated some resources in training masons and plumbers because in the long term, these are people who will be directly involved in using the firm’s products,” said Mr. Anantha Krishnan of UN-HABITAT said.
Consequently, UN-HABITAT has engaged a Kenyan based corporate consultant to explore ways of selling the idea of investing in youth to corporations. Together with the firm, IQ Marketing, UN-HABITAT is seeking means to have some of these businesses join it at the fourth session of the World Urban Forum in Nanjing China later this year and sell to them the idea of being actively involved in capacity building among youth.
According to Ms. Louisa Gikonyo of IQ Marketing, young people were faced with many challenges including differences in upbringing, marginalization due to age, literacy levels as well as lack of forums to interact. UN-HABITAT, she said, had a window of opportunity to address some of these challenges by helping to create forums for interaction and seeking in-house training opportunities for young people in the private sector.