Inuka! Supporting Vulnerable Youth to Participate in Community Peace and Security Efforts in Coastal Kenya

Starting in 2016, Search for Common Ground partnered with three local civil society organizations, the Kenya Muslim Youth Alliance, the Kiunga Youth Bunge Initiative, and Muslims for Human Rights, to improve communication about security and create new platforms for coordination. The project built trust and collaboration between key community, government, and security leaders and contributed to developing a community-led approach to security issues.

Since the beginning of the Inuka project, participants continue to work together to proactively deal with security concerns in their communities before they escalate. As a result of their work thus far, women are now more confident sharing their security-related grievances with police. The need for this programme arises from the marginalisation of Muslim communities in Kenya’s Coastal region.

Heavy-handed security responses, involving human rights abuses, have led to a lack of trust and communication among key community, government, and security stakeholders. Without the platforms to effectively voice their concerns to local, regional, and national officials, these community members have no constructive opportunities for dialogue and engagement.

For the expanded Inuka programme, the focus has turned to youth. If at-risk youth have the skills to engage with one another and with community leaders, then youth relationships with security actors will be stronger. This will allow security actors to better attack the root causes of violent extremism. To achieve this goal, Inuka will include many activities such as multi-day leadership trainings, youth-lead trainings and discussions, and peer-to-peer problem-solving sessions.

The orginal programme will end in September 2018 and is funded by the US State Department Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor. The expansion, which started in January 2018, will be conducted over 36 months and is funded by the European Union.