With the current high cost of living, how are people surviving? How are young people surviving? How are they coping and do they have coping mechanisms? What opportunities are there for young people? Our #CoffeeBarDiscussion focused on how young people are surviving during these hard times. Young people lead with the high rate of unemployment, crime rate, drug and substance abuse, early pregnancies among other social vices.
Business Daily indicates that of the 10.1 million Kenyans out of jobs, 2.5 million are actively looking for work while 7.6 million are inactive, either because they don’t need jobs or have given up looking for them. With sluggish corporate earnings leading to job cuts and hiring freezes, young people are the hardest hit by joblessness compared to their older counterparts.
Out of the 26 participants during the discussion, 3 are fully employed, 4 are self-employed, 2 are doing casual jobs while the rest don’t have anywhere specific to get their daily bread. As one participant shared, they survive by the Grace of God. This translates to the state of young people not being able to access opportunities which are there and also the government not being able to create more job opportunities.
We asked the 15 how they are surviving and here are some of the response they gave :- 1 survives by making sure they cut their expenditures remaining with only basic needs, 9 survive by looking for manual jobs, 2 a survive through their parents support since they are students, 2 survive through support from friends and 1 survives by making sure that he’s single. One of the participants believes that being single is one way of cutting costs and avoiding unnecessary spending.
“Being single means I don’t have someone expecting me to take them out on dates, means no one is expecting me to buy them gifts or pay anything for them. I only cater for my needs and wants only”
After understanding how young people are surviving, the conversation continued through participants sharing opportunities where others can apply or engage with. This was through platforms, job opportunities, vacancies and openings at different companies and organizations. We also shared how to protect our mental health especially for those who don’t have a way of making a living, it’s very easy to find a coping mechanism and that is how you get yourself indulging and engaging in social vices and becoming an addict or losing yourself in the process.
We have seen young people losing their lives because of how they are making their living. Young people are at a very high risk of engaging in crime activities in order to make a living. Some have lost lives through crime, where they steal and get mob justice or being shot, others have engaged in reckless drug and substance abuse as a coping mechanism and through that they are not able to get back on track.
We are happy that through the Coffee bar Tuesday space, participants were able to understand some platforms where they can earn some cash such as social media platforms and apps like Wowzi for those in the social media space. We also shared other job opportunities and vacancies in different companies and organizations where participants were encouraged to apply.
Through the discussion, it’s clear that young people don’t have information on some of the opportunities surrounding them. It’s also clear that we all look for opportunities from high end people and companies without utilizing the people close to us. It’s also evident that opportunities are there but the spaces to share those opportunities are scarce and are not accessible to and by everyone.
We also urged participants to engage in learning or perfecting a skill that would employ them. As an organization, we believe in creating space where young people can share opportunities and connect them with the opportunities. We also believe that through employment, young people will not engage themselves in social vices and it aligns with our organization’s vision – to have a community that is free from social vices and youths who are focused on seeing the community develop both socially and economically. See you on Tuesday!