Yvonne Akoth, Founder and Director of Impart Change
By Lilian Kaivilu for The People Daily
Tell us about yourself
My name is Yvonne Akoth. I am the founder and director of Impart Change and a Post 2015 Ambassador of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS). I am also an Akili Dada fellow. Besides, I am a 2016 United State Peace Institute fellow under the Generation Change Emerging Leaders Programme.
How many youths are you working with so far?
Presently, we are working with 40 young men and women to impact the community in which they live in. We help them make beadwork, which they sell during events and exhibitions.
Yvonne Akoth (centre) teaches girls and young women from Akili Dada and her program how to make jewelery from beads at her training centre in Nairobi during the recent Akili Dada East Africa Girls Summit
Your organisation is barely two years. Any milestones?
So far, we haveformed partnerships with international funders such as the Pollination Project, who are funding one of our projects. As the founder of Impart Change, I have had the opportunity to participate in a play recital on ending violence against women at home and in conflicting zones at the George Washington University.
A beneficiary of Yvonne’s project teaches the young women how to recycle old magazines by making jewelery out of them during the recent Akili Dada East Africa Girls Summit
So is the Pollination Project your only source of funding?
Since the launching of our organisation eight months ago, our source of funding has been from family and friends, Akili Dada and the Pollination Project. We have also had the opportunity to partner with the local government, the African Artists Peace Initiative (AAPI) and the Hawkers Market Girls Centre (HMGC) in some projects.
Has your project had any direct impact on the youth?
We have reached 80 young men and women aged between 18 and 35, with skills, knowledge and information on violence prevention and conflict resolution strategies. We have also used artistic interventions such as graffiti and gallery exhibitions to reach more than 5,000 people in the local community.
How exactly does Impart Change prevent violence in Nairobi?
Through our partners, we connect young people with socio-economic opportunities. We also empower them with skills, knowledge and information that provides them with alternative ways of solving conflicts in their community, preventing incidences of violence, especially gender- based violence. We also encourage them to report incidences of crime to the authorities.
Your work has landed you a number of opportunities. Tell us about this
Because of the work we are doing in the community, I was selectedfor a United States Peace Institute Generation Change Fellow in Februaryand selected to represent Kenya at the 7th United Nations Alliance of Civilisations (UNAOC) Global and Youth Forum in Baku, Azerbaijan in April, this year.
The forum focuses on championing inclusive societies as a prerequisite for peaceful coexistence among people of different cultures.
*This story was first posted here