First Lady Margaret Kenyatta’s Beyond Zero initiative has teamed up with Maisha Youth, a national youth movement, to promote the welfare of adolescents and young people through a national campaign dubbed “Squad Culture”.
The campaign will be delivered through events and festivals involving the youth using art, music and dance.
According to Beyond Zero, the squad culture campaign fits into the organization's current strategic plan which seeks to utilize partnerships to deliver health programs to adolescents and the youth.
As a lead up to the campaign launch, the Office of the First Lady, Beyond Zero Secretariat and Maisha Youth today organized a public participation meeting.
The virtual meeting sought to identify and prioritize subject areas to be covered by the campaign.
Accordingly, promotion of positive values, economic empowerment, HIV prevention, alcohol and drug abuse, mental health and sexual gender based violence were identified as priority subjects.
The youth leaders said Kenyan youth need to be empowered so as to defeat the growing challenge of gender based violence as seen through the high number of teenage pregnancies reported during the current Covid-19 health crisis.
Further, the youth leaders expressed the need for mentorship programs to help build their skills and capacity to participate effectively in national development.
Speaking during the virtual meeting, National Aids Control Council (NACC) Chief Executive Officer Dr Nduku Kilonzo urged the youth to take advantage of online platforms to turn the challenges facing them into opportunities including accessing health information and services during this Covid-19 period.
Other participants in the meeting that was moderated by the Head of NACC’s Technical Support Division, Dr Celestine Mugambi, included Ms Angella Langat of Beyond Zero and Ms Eva Maina, Ms Vivianne Ngugi and Ms Jane Kiragu from the Office of the First Lady among others.
NACC’s Program Officer Ms Rebecca Nyankieya highlighted the country’s HIV estimates of 2020 where she said approximately 42,161 adolescents and young people between the ages of 15 to 24 years are living with HIV.