2nd Youth Enrichment Programs
The Somalia Affairs section of the U.S Embassy in Nairobi, conducted a second Youth Enrichment Program, YEP, in the border town of Mandera from August 25-28. 45 Somali youth came across the border to join 18 Kenyan youth for a week of sports, cultural activities, and discussions.
45 Somali youth, 11 of whom were females, spent five days and four nights with 18 Kenyan youth, most of whom were ethnic Somali. Activities included soccer, volleyball, and handball. In addition, the youth participated in a Qaranic recitation contest, an art contest, a poetry contest, and wrote letters to leaders of their choosing, appealing for peace in Somalia. The youth came from a variety of organizations in Somalia, including schools, sports organizations, and youth groups. Also in the group were several youth who were reformed militia, having turned away from violence and now engaging in productive activities in Somalia. The youth, initially suspicious of one another and their American hosts quickly grew into a cohesive unit, supporting one another in the activities and trading ideas in both the formal activities and the discussions that occurred during meals, break times,
and in the evenings.
While all of the participants certainly benefited from this program, it was noted that some of them provided leadership among the youth.