A Mombasa human rights organisation has launched a programme aimed at reducing idleness and crime among the youth.
Haki Africa Monday launched the programme dubbed ‘Amani Mashinani’ which aims at reducing crime and fight radicalisation.
Addressing journalists during the launch at Mbaraki Sports Club, Haki’s rapid response officer, Mr Francis Auma, said the programme would boost youth participation in sports activities and hence reduce crime rate.
He said the project has a multi-pronged approach that will offer youth aged between 12 and 34 years a chance to participate in a football tournament and others with the opportunity to initiate small-scale income generating activities.
“We want the youth to preach peace through soccer and that is what has informed our decision to come up with the programme. It will also keep them busy and prevent them from participating in criminal activities,” he said.
He said the youth are in danger of being misused by politicians to cause chaos at political rallies and other functions for financial gain.
“More than 800 youths will be directly reached by the project with a ripple effect to reach over 10,000 youths,” he added.
The project will be implemented over a period of 12 months and is funded by the Norwegian government.
Mr Auma said the organisation will partner with local FM stations and government administrators to popularise the tournament so as to attract many spectators.
In total, 187 matches will be played over a period of nine months with each of the six constituencies in Mombasa (Mvita, Nyali, Kisauni, Jomvu, Likoni and Changamwe) hosting at least 30 matches.
Before, during and after the matches, Mr Auma said they will use the opportunity to talk to the youth about the importance of peace and security and to engage them in educational and development discussions.
He added that the organisation will offer the best players with scholarships in form of school fees at the end of the tournament.
Mr Auma said the programme would be rolled out across the six Coast counties by June 2016.