Kenya’s Campus Ambassadors Help Get out the Youth Ahead of August Polls
As part of its work in Kenya, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), through the Global Affairs Canada funded “Kenya Electoral System Support” program is providing grants to youth-based organizations whose focus is encouraging greater and more meaningful youth participation in Kenya’s electoral process. To achieve this, IFES is currently working with two local partners, Kubamba Trust and the Universities and College Students’ Peace Association of Kenya, to develop dynamic campus-based initiatives in institutions of higher learning. These institutions of higher learning have approximately two-million students, many of whom are participating in the electioneering process for the first time.
The campus-based initiatives hinge on engaging youth through peer-to-peer advocacy led by fellow youth known as Campus Ambassadors. Networks of youth committed to peaceful elections are created by engaging young people on their own campuses, through a variety of activities including candidate forums, treasure hunts, sport activities, social media outreach, and face-to-face conversations. By having youth act as positive peer influencers, these initiatives tap into the vibrant social networks – both in person and online – that already exist on university campuses.
IFES Kenya recently trained approximately 300 Campus Ambassadors, from several regions of the country, to build their advocacy skills for sharing electoral information while offering strategies to encourage youth participation in the upcoming 2017 general elections. The training of trainers workshops for these ambassadors took place in four regions around the country – Mombasa, Kisumu, Eldoret, and Nairobi. The ultimate objective of the trainings was to:
- Increase electoral information awareness;
- Expose youth to the principles and importance of good governance; and
- Promote peaceful participation in the electoral system.
The Campus Ambassadors were able to share guidance with their peers, build networks across the country, and interact with staff of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission – the election management body of Kenya. These young people will bring back the information learned from the trainings to their respective universities and act as advocates for peaceful and inclusive elections, spreading positive messaging across the country.
For more information, watch the below videos and let our Campus Ambassadors get you excited about the importance of elections and peaceful participation in Kenya.
IFES Kenya: Campus Ambassador Outreach – Mombasa Region
IFES Kenya: Campus Ambassador Training – Mombasa Region
IFES Kenya: Campus Ambassador Training – Eldoret Region