Youth First | Kenya
Background + Situation In Kenya, nearly 25 percent of youth don’t enroll in high school despite improvements in access to and quality of Kenyan primary schools. Young women in rural poor and nomadic communities are even less likely to enroll in high school, due to poverty, discriminatory prioritization of boys’ education, and social pressures. CorStone Response | Youth First Kenya Youth First Kenya, an integrated resilience and health training program, seeks to build social and emotional assets, such as coping skills, character strengths, and positive self-regard, as well as improve adolescent health. Students who are well equipped with such internal resources coupled with stronger external supports have been shown to experience reduced rates of depression, have improved social skills, remain in and be more engaged at school, and perform better academically. Youth First is a teacher-facilitated, school-based program in Kenya that draws from the latest research in resilience, positive psychology and social-emotional learning, in which potential risks or threats to wellbeing are addressed by boosting internal assets and external supports. The program will also focus on teacher engagement and address issues of gender equality, gender relations and gender rights, and is specifically designed to ensure equal attention is paid to skills development in girls and boys. Working in partnership with BasicNeedsBasicRights Kenya and SOWED Kenya, 55 teachers will be trained and approximately 1,000 students will participate in the initial 3-year project. Rigorous quantitative and qualitative assessments will be conducted to evaluate and document program outcomes.