GUiDE Project is a charity seeking to forge a new youth development and empowerment pathway through Mentoring. This innovative initiative transforms and revolutionizes the development of young people, preparing them for success and prosperity in and out of school. Through a strategic approach that supports and supplements the existing formal educational system GUiDE Project strengthens local and global competitive citizenship. GUiDE Project helps young people prepare for life and wealth creation, as well as for a successful and enjoyable school life. Young people taught that life is bigger than tests and good grades; that education is more than preparing for an existing job. GUiDE Project supports and GUiDE Project young people so that they can think freely and come up with creative projects and initiatives that are transformational. They own their talents, skills, aspirations, and creativity, rather than be condemned to seeking handouts or to waiting for particular kinds of jobs to be available.
GUiDE Project collaborates with stakeholders and like-minded individuals, groups and organizations in our efforts to support young people so that they may create the future they want and, achieve a better, more prosperous life. It partners with schools to act as resource centers and offer resources that can be deployed quickly, cheaply, and effectively, and in the process re-imagine our educational approach. There will be thousands of young leaders amongst young people who will find opportunities to effectively serve their communities and schools. Therefore, in searching for cost-effective ways to prepare youth for the rigors of life, GUiDE Project will provides a way forward.
We believe that young people everywhere have the capacity to “learn, to make and make to prosper”. However, we also recognize that youth are not homogeneous and opportunities for learning and making are often curtailed by a confluence of factors, including socioeconomic inequities.
At GUiDE project, we seek to create an ecosystem in which youth from all segments of society have opportunities to innovate, effect positive change in their communities and demonstrate thought leadership within a local and regional context.
To help develop young people who are inter-connected globally and actively engaged in transforming and creating their future, and sustainably developing their communities.
To develop and empower young people to believe that each can be his or her very best, both in school and in the rest of life. To walk with these young people as they undertake a journey of free thinking, creativity, and innovation so as to help them positively change their lives and the lives of those in their communities.
To provide a sense of Safety and confidence – Young people need socially feel safe before they can grow and learn since youth in uncertainity mode do not thrive. GUiDE Project does this by assigning mentors to guide them.
To create preparedness for the labour world – Young people need to develop competencies and skills to ready themselves for work and adult life. Competencies range from academic, social, emotional to vocational, cultural. GUiDE Project provides experiential learning, which will make education meaningful to thousands of young people. People learn best when they can apply the knowledge they have gained directly to their lives. Experience is necessary in order for young people to build the skills necessary to lead change and to create jobs
To create connectedness foster powerful relationships – Young people need to belong, to be connected to family and community to thrive. A growing body of brain research indicates that we are hardwired to connect. It is a core requisite to learn, develop and interact with the world. Life is not just about information; it is also about relationships. Schools must act as mentorship centers and allow youth to feel supported enough to take risks, help them stay motivated enough to persist in the face of challenges and to believe in the guidance they receive.
To provide engagement – Young people need opportunities to engage in meaningful activities, have a voice, take responsibility for their actions, and actively participate in civic discourse. In order to develop young people with the confidence and persistence they need to succeed, we believe it is necessary to support youth over a long period of time.
To help improve livelihoods and that of the community-this is through enterprise projects and community projects.
GUiDE Project .Project strives to offer experiences of which a young person would not find adequate examples in other curricula. GUiDE Project offers a “GUiDE Project catharsis” for them – assuring safety and just the right amount of structured experience – but with plenty of opportunity for self-discovery and personal challenge. At the end, they will be more focused, confident, independent, and mature young leaders. The light will be turn for them and help them develop as youth with a purpose
Youth development experts have not yet agreed on a clear definition of positive youth development, but there has been consensus about key components that need to be included in this approach. With this in mind, positive youth development can be described as a philosophy or approach promoting a set of GUiDE Project guidelines on how a community can support its young people so that they can grow up competent and healthy and develop to their full potential. This sets the agenda for positive youth development. This reflects a major shift in thinking. Instead of asking what we can do to prevent and fix behavior problems, we are asking what opportunities, learning experiences, supports do we need to give young people so that they feel connected, prepared and engaged. This does not mean that prevention programs and efforts should be abolished. A positive youth development approach means to look at the bigger picture; it looks to strengthen existing services and programs and to expand opportunities and supports a community offers to young people so that they all can develop to their full potential. It challenges communities to take a new look at its resources and how they can be used to support young people.
Emphasis on positive outcomes: The approach highlights positive, healthy outcomes (in contrast to reducing negative outcomes such as teen pregnancy, substance abuse, violence). Although most parents have clear ideas what positive characteristics and behaviors they would like to see in their children, there is still a lack of clarity of what exactly positive outcomes are. Since researchers only recently have focused on positive outcomes, definitions and categories of positive outcomes are still evolving. Examples of desired youth development outcomes are competence (academic, social, vocational skills), self-confidence, connectedness (healthy relationship to community, friends, and family), character (integrity, moral commitment), caring and compassion.
Youth Voice: It is essential to include youth as active participants in any youth development initiative. They have to be equal partners in the process. Youth involvement presents a great challenge to adults and charges them to rethink how they have engaged in planning and program development and implementation.
Strategies aim to involve all youth: Youth development strategies are generally aimed at all youth. The assumption is that creating supportive and enriching environments for all youth will lead to the desired positive outcomes as well as reduced negative outcomes. However, experts in the field recognize the need to blend universal approaches with approaches that are targeting youth facing extra challenges.
Long-term involvement: Youth development assumes long-term commitment. Activities and supportive relationships have to endure for a long period of time to be effective. They have to accompany young people throughout their growing up years. While short-term positive results may be seen and should be built on, both community-organizing models mentioned below state that positive community-based, youth outcomes may not be measurable for 15-20 years. Youth development strategies have to embrace and ready themselves for long-term engagement.
Community involvement: Youth development stresses the importance to engage the larger social environment that influences how young people grow up and develop. This includes family and friends, but also the community they live in. Community is more than social service and youth organizations, schools, law enforcement agencies; it involves business, faith and civic groups, and private citizens who are not attached to any organization.
Currently there are two popular, researched community organizing models, Search Institute and Communities that Care, that provide strategies and tools to involve large sectors of the community in the task of making the community a better place for young people to grow up in.
Emphasis on collaboration: Youth development requires people from various agencies and community groups to work together. Collaboration can express itself in different forms e.g., agencies coming together to write a grant proposal to community groups forming a coalition to achieve one common goal by sharing resources and expertise
Background to the Mission
To begin with, we realise that, the impact of tomorrow’s life depends on the quality of today’s training and youth development. But the current formal education system is not adequately preparing and guiding young people to fulfill their dreams and become rounded citizens. They need guidance to realize their potential for a better future and to help their communities. It must be noted that today’s workers need more than just skills and knowledge to be productive and innovative participants in the workforce. To succeed today and in the future, young people will need to be inventive, resourceful, and imaginative. If they are, they will be able to tackle the world’s most pressing challenges.
Secondly, every child has a right to an education. This is fully enshrined in the in country’s laws. Yet many only go halfway through school, and some do not go to school at all. Those who do manage to finish primary school often do not advance in life due to lack of proper guidance and advice or because of economic challenges. In fact, without any meaningful support, most children cannot advance beyond the primary school level. Many would marry, seek work or engage in vices that ruins their lives and destroy the fabric of the community.
A majority of Kenyan youth who advance to secondary school and even beyond lacks a clear picture of what they want and what to do after graduating. Those who advance to tertiary and university education face a challenge in choosing the right career, and finding an occupation they love and are qualified for. The Education system does not necessarily provide or equip youth with the essential technical and professional skills they need in adult life. There is a severe lack of training in self-awareness, employability skills, entrepreneurial skills, decision-making, and problem solving skills, health, and technology among young people.
Finally, a majority of children in Kenya who are less than 14 years old cannot read a short story. Those who finish primary school and high school often fall back into the illiteracy trap because they live in a poor reading culture and lack reading resources. A significant number of younger children experience child abuse – mostly neglect, cultural practices and child labor.
It is this vulnerable group in the community that GUiDE Project works with, so that they may get the best out of their lives. GUiDE Project facilitates the redress of this imbalance through academic support, guidance, training, and development programs. GUiDE Project works closely with all stakeholders to ensure that we realize these goals; Resource Centers are established in which GUiDE Project activities are advanced. Young people are helped to become professional leaders, to take up existing, and create future opportunities, and to make a positive change in their lives and in the community. GUiDE Project supplements the existing education system by helping young people develop in response to the needs of their communities.
GUiDE Project innovative approach and uniqueness
The GUiDE Project Project’s is an innovative supplementary education and youth development service model. The program is focused on development and empowering young people both in school and out of school to be able to create and accept opportunities for the betterment of their lives and that of their communities. Firstly, GUiDE Project systematically incorporates the mentor ship approach into the system of education and provides a missing link between school tests and real life experiences. This help to ameliorate the mismatch between education and life after school. Through this youth become self-guided in choosing their life paths. The project also provides way community members to contribute their mentoring and coaching skills to the young people as it provides a GUiDE Project discourse. This is a big plus for those with a passion to help through mentor ship. Sometimes it’s hard for them to go it alone and find a way to contribute their knowledge.
It is unique in its way of working in partnership with the public schools and other like-minded organizations presenting a real shift in thinking of how development and empowerment of young people is carried out based on the following approaches.
• Instead of concentration on problems and problem prevention, focus is moved to nurturing positive outcomes and what young people need to thrive in the 21st century.
• From reacting to problems and needs, GUiDE Project becomes pro-active.
• GUiDE Project move from targeting young people – either high risk or gifted – to planning and creating opportunities for all young people.
• Instead of looking at young people as recipient of services and programs, GUiDE Project look at young people as resources, as partners who can make valuable contributions in planning and implementing activities.
• There is shift from programs to a more community wide net of learning opportunities, interactions and activities. This can mean enhancing and expanding existing programs as well as creating inter generational activities outside of traditional youth programming.
• Ultimately, youth development is not just a task of professionals but all community members.