Peace Ambassadors Integration Organization (PAMBIO) is a national youth focused and youth managed peace building and youth empowerment organization. It works to build the capacity of communities for peaceful interactions by enhancing commitment to peaceful relations, ethical behavior and respect for one another.
The organization was started in February 2012 as a brainchild of youth from various institutions of higher learning in Kenya and the Kenya Administration Police Service who offered patronage to the initiative. Since its inception, the organization has endeavored to grow as a formidable player in the peace building and youth empowerment sector in Kenya. We currently implementing nine projects under our unique program titled Peace Ambassadors Kenya Program: Mobilizing, Organizing, Empowering, Engaging and Celebrating Kenya Youth.
To emerge as a model decentralized organization tapping into the energies of individuals in peace building.
To build and strengthen peaceful interactions within the society through youth empowerment trainings, awareness creation, advocacy and collaborations.
A variety of global and local realities expressly show the need for our existence as an organization. Below are some of our aspirations:
i. To increase youth participation in the peace building
The youth in Kenya have been the greatest perpetrators as well as victims of violence for decades. Various factors contribute to this situation including increasing levels of religious intolerance, overt class discrimination, rising ethnicity and hate speech in all social contexts. To challenge this culture of violence among the youth, it is important to expose them to new Alternatives to Violence. There is a dire need to equip the youths with conflict management and peace building skills that can enable them to actively participate in the peace building agenda. We intend to offer a unique platform to network youth from all over the country, those who share similar passion in initiating positive change towards the national development and peace agenda.
ii. To build capacities of Youth groups/clubs/associations
In Kenya there exists many youth based groupings, some registered while others existing informally. They lack basic skills such as leadership skills, group dynamics skills, understanding of developmental agenda, understanding of basic administrative systems and procedures in project management and financial management. This contributes in making them ineffective and thus failing in their primary goal of empowering and improving the lives of its members and by extension failing in their role of educating and leading their communities on peace and developmental issues. We are determined to build the capacity of youth groups using an intervention mechanism developed by our organization that seeks to mobilize, organize, engage and empower youth groups in Kenya.
iii. To increase Youth participation in developmental agenda and leadership role in grassroots community
Though young people are in the majority their impact in positively influencing grassroots and national developmental agenda is limited. Various factors contribute to this situation including lack of capacity in understanding development and its interventions, cultural and social inhibitions which does respects older opinions more than younger opinions, lack of young people in leadership positions, lack of material and financial resources that plays a key role in influencing decisions among others. This leads to young people depending on others to develop and drive the agenda including on issues affecting them both at the grassroots as well as at the national level. Besides building the individual and group capacities we aims to engage in community outreaches to get the youth to lead in addressing developmental issues at the same time display their capacities/capabilities/potential to their communities, government agencies and other developmental stakeholders.
iv. To elevate young women position in the community
The role of young women especially at the grassroots remain minimal while violence against women and more so young women in all its forms continues to prevent young women realizing their potential and by extension denying the community the contributions these young women can make. We purpose to deliberately target 50% young women within our beneficiaries at the same time mainstream the issue of gender equality/equity and the issue of violence against women within our activities.
v. To increase youth economic independence
In the recent past Kenya and more so urban areas have witnessed tremendous economic and infrastructure development but gainful employment especially for the young people from poor backgrounds is very limited. Lack of viable social entrepreneurial skills as well as limited government job opportunities has been blamed for this situation. We aim to build capacities of young people and assist them explore innovative ways of earning a descent income thus helping address this challenge.
vi. To amplify youth role in achieving Sustainable development goals and Kenya Vision 2030
Achievement of Sustainable development goals (SDG’s) and Kenya vision 2030 is key to communities realizing their developmental potentials but the role of youth in this endeavor is very limited. We aim to engage young people to create more awareness on the newly adopted Sustainable Development Goals in the community and thus increase their contribution in achieving these goals.
Our core values are the principles that guide the internal and external actions of PAK and drive our accountability to each other and our stakeholders.
We are inspired by these values and we aspire to fully live these values.The following are our core values:
We believe in the following theory of Change that we inform our approach in our work:
If we acknowledge that the youth are the leaders of today, then mobilize and organize them into youth action groups, we can then provide them with a platform for personal development and self –reflection.
If we can raise the awareness of the youth to global and local societal challenges connected to poverty, conflict and development issues, then we can help them realize their full potential as social change agents and feed their interest to become engaged citizens.
And if we can facilitate the youth to discover their talents, harness their ideas and equip them with compassionate attitudes, skills and knowledge, then we can empower them to become active participants in peaceful community development.
Based on the problem we are solving, our values and beliefs, we have adopted the following strategies in our work:
Community Peace Structures
We aim to facilitate the establishment and coordination of effective community structures for peace promotion in the country. This is perhaps the most ambitious approach and the backbone of our activities. We aim to establish and coordinate Peace Clubs in every institution of higher learning in Kenya to act as a platform to mobilize, organize and engage youth talents, ideas and skills in peace building, self and community development activities. Currently PAK has peace clubs in over twenty institutions with a membership base of over 5,000 thousand youth volunteers.
Capacity Building (CB)
We aim to build capacity of young men and women and enhance their ability to prevent, address and recover from conflict situations. This will be achieved through participatory learning and training in technical, social and life skills.
Community mobilization and awareness
We endeavor to use community mobilization and awareness creation to reach out to more people at the community level effectively. This shall be done at the community level through peace advocacy walks, public consultative forums, health and education sensitization activities, environment management activities, culture galas, and charity events.
We aspire to use advocacy to place the youth agenda on the doorstep of various stakeholders among them the government, development organizations and the media among others. We will work with youth peace platforms and coalitions in influencing policy through participatory advocacy where key stakeholders and communities can speak to and influence power, policy formulation and implementation processes.
Partnership, Networking and Collaboration
We seek to work with partners, networks and develop collaboration/coalition with key actors engaging youth in peace building and youth empowerment in the country. A key objective is to establish a youth action platform where peace actor’s can build synergy for youth empowerment in changing the culture of violence to Non-violence among the youth.
Youth Exchange Forums and Festivals
We undertake to realize a large scale Exchange Forums which will bring together youth to share their experiences, exchange ideas, and learn from one another besides directly engaging with other development stakeholders.
Promote awareness on peaceful coexistence among the citizens across the republic of Kenya through outreach activities Train and educate individuals and communities on the need for peace, mutual coexistence and conflict resolution mechanisms Research, Document and Disseminate information necessary in discovering, integrating, articulating and generating mitigations to societal conflicts and challenges Facilitate the establishment and coordination of effective community structures for peace promotion in the country Advocate for local accountability and an appropriate legal framework for effective national cohesion and integration Promote youth engagement in peace processes and development through the utilization of their skills, ideas and talents
Young people: Through assisting them gain exposure, gain life based and technical skills that can assist them address issues affecting them and earn a descent income and thus reducing poverty.
Young Women: Through a deliberate focus approach that ensures they don’t fall through the cracks due to their vulnerable position.
The Community members: Will gain knowledge and information through young people on various developmental issues affecting them and will be guided to collectively seek collective and sustainable solutions to these challenges.
Youth Clubs/Associations/Organizations: Will gain more capacity and will be able to operate more effectively within the youth development agenda and maximize opportunities for their members.
Development Stakeholders/Learning Institution: Will gain more insight and expertise in dealing and engaging young people and their issues.
Kenya government: We aspire to contribute to the Vision 2030 besides complimenting other government policies and actions of citizen participation, sustainable development goals and youth participation.