In the heart of Kakuma Refugee Camp, amidst the challenges and struggles of displacement, a beacon of hope shines brightly. Congolese native Ebengo Honore, driven by a profound sense of duty and compassion, founded the Advocacy Initiative for Youth Development (AIYD) to uplift and empower the youth within the camp. His journey from a refugee educator to a transformative leader demonstrates the power of resilience, innovation, and unwavering dedication.

The Genesis of Advocacy Initiative for Youth Development

The genesis of AIYD stems from a poignant moment during one of Ebengo's child rights awareness sessions in Kakuma's primary schools. A child posed a simple yet profound question: Do children in rural areas, especially in refugee camps like Kakuma, have the same access to digital skills as their urban counterparts? This question struck a chord within Ebengo, igniting a fire of determination to bridge the gap and provide equal opportunities for the youth in the camp.

The initial concept was to establish a small center equipped with laptops, offering basic computer skills to the children. With the support of a retired educator and a private donation, Ebengo embarked on a journey to Nairobi to procure the necessary equipment. Thus, the seeds of AIYD were sown, evolving from a humble initiative to a transformative organization.

Mission, Vision, and Core Values

AIYD's mission is to break the cycle of poverty by transforming youth into a knowledge-based economy driven by technology and soft skills. Their vision is to provide over 45,000 refugees equal access to digital and soft skills by 2030. Rooted in integrity, innovation, and respect, AIYD's core values form the bedrock of their operations, guiding them towards their noble aspirations.

Providing Fit-for-Purpose Programs

AIYD offers a diverse range of programs tailored to meet the needs of the refugee community. From tech skills encompassing computer basics to coding and programming, to soft skills such as business management and conflict resolution, their comprehensive curriculum equips the youth with the tools necessary for success in an ever-evolving world.

Overcoming Challenges and Celebrating Milestones

Despite facing numerous challenges, including limited access to finances and infrastructure, AIYD has persevered, driven by their unwavering commitment to their cause. Through strategic collaborations with organizations like Microsoft and UNHCR, they have made significant strides, impacting over 2400 youths with their short courses and empowering over 6200 individuals through peace and conflict resolution initiatives.

Transformative Success Stories

The impact of AIYD's programs reverberates through the stories of individuals like Puok Manyian, who played a pivotal role in restoring peace in Kakuma camp after completing their leadership and conflict resolution course. Additionally, their advocacy efforts secured a scholarship for a young girl from the host community, highlighting their commitment to inclusivity and community engagement.

Embracing Innovation and Collaboration

AIYD's commitment to innovation is evident in their continuous efforts to update and refine their programs, ensuring they remain relevant and impactful. Collaborating with other firms and innovation hubs, they stay ahead of industry trends, positioning themselves as pioneers in refugee empowerment and education.

Future Endeavors and Long-term Vision

Looking ahead, AIYD envisions expanding their programs beyond Kakuma camp, reaching more refugees and host communities. Their long-term goal includes the creation of an online platform, RemoteFugee, to provide online job opportunities for refugees, furthering their mission of empowerment and self-sufficiency.

Words of Wisdom

To aspiring entrepreneurs, Ebengo Honore offers a simple yet profound message: perseverance and the right mindset are key to success. His journey exemplifies the transformative power of resilience and compassion, inspiring individuals to overcome adversity and make a meaningful impact in the world.