Street Youth Transformation from the eyes of Ochibo

Tell us about yourself

My name is Robinson Ochieng alias Ochibo

How was life before Undugu came in?

Before I met Undugu I used to indulge a lot in alcohol abuse, all the money I earned from garbage collection was used in alcohol.

What is the impact of Undugu in your life?

I joined Young Stars association in 2020. I am now a responsible family man. Through Undugu’s training and mentorship I reformed and decided to improved my life. I can now plan for my monies effectively. I have also quit taking alcohol and developed a culture of saving. I am the Secretary to my group.

What do you do now (occupation)?

I am still engaged in Garbage collection but also started a small business. From trainings in business skills, I developed a business idea and from my savings executed it. I now own a milk selling outlet in Githurai

When did the group start?

The group started in 2015 but we were not organized and lacked consistency and management skills

How many members started back then?

The group had in initial membership of 20 members but has since grown to 24 members.

What was the situation back then?

Back then members indulged in drugs and substance abuse. They consumed alcohol (illicit brews), khat, smoked bhang as a temporary source of comfort to their unending daily challenges. It was a means of surviving the hard life.

What is the impact of Undugu on the group?

Undugu helped to organize ourselves and developed an identity, Young Stars. Undugu also built our capacity to make savings through a model called VSLA (Village Savings and Loaning Associations), helped the group  to register formally with government besides other life skills training and education on dangers of engaging in crime, drugs and substance abuse among others. We have also undergone training on other issues like self-awareness, leadership, Business management among others.

What is the situation now?

All 24 members of our association are now involved in organized garbage collection. We save our money through VSLA.  15 members have rented houses, they no longer sleep in the streets and have families. 3 of our members are still operating from the base.

There has been significant reduction of drugs and substance abuse for at least 17 members. The level of awareness and responsible behavior has increased. However, 7 members still struggling with drugs consumption

What is the future of the group?

We hope to be mentors of other youths. We aspire that all members own a business besides the group Income Generating Activities (IGA) like pig farming. We hope to save and purchase our own land where we can comfortably operate from.

Change in the neighborhood as a result of the group?

As a result of garbage collection, the community leadership through Nyumba Kumi (a local neighborhood watch group) recognize and collaborate with us. We have created linkage with other local leaders including politicians and hope that through these networks they will access assistance to improve their lives. The area around our base is secure unlike before when we used to engage in crime, passersby would be robbed.

Young Star Street Youth Association was founded in the year 2020. They have undergone the various stages of Undugu’s 3-year Association Model. They were disengaged on 15th April 2023 having satisfactorily met the milestones required for formal disengagement as Undugu focuses on mentoring younger groups.



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