Inside stories Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Fredrick Odol
I was born and grownup in Mathare, valley slums of Nairobi Kenya. Being the second born in a family of three, life itself was like being on a death row or committing a slow form of suicide! I had a dream in life just like any other kid out there and mine was to become a Human Rights advocate. Little did I know that the road ahead would be rough and rigid! Having lost my parents at a very tender age, I knew that all was lost! Fortunately a well-wisher took me to an orphanage, (Good Samaritan ChildrenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s and School). Later i became a justice ambassador as i dreamed about.
Why did you created your first NGO ?
After witnessing and experiencing the challenges of slum life I created a community based organization by the name Tirinso Outreach Foundation which is dedicated to solve a broad list of challenges in our local community. We focus on issues like poverty alleviation, peace building, youth development, humanitarian assistance and post-conflict recovery.
It was founded in 2004 and its activities got vigorous after the 2007-2008 Post Election Violence in response to the growing instability and violent conflicts engulfing the Nation of Kenya, the slums and the rural regions in particular. We had a conviction that non-violence can help bring sustainable development, peace and reconciliation between and within communities. Moreover, the encouragement of basic rights and justice everywhere (in order to prevent conflict) was an underpinning motivation for its creation.
You have created the second social initiative, what motivated the founders of this organization?
In our undertakings we realized that there was need to bring about the youth leaders across the country to advocate for equal representation in decision making processes, for instance constitution implementation. We all know that youth are the marginalized groups as things stand, if you go into the slums you will find young people aged 18-30 years are brewing illicit brew (they have literally drowned in alcohol)! The National Youth Council which was passed through an Act of parliament in 2009 hasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t seen light of the day. Therefore, I pioneered the registration of an international NGO (Network for youth Advocacy Kenya) whose inherent goal is to be a leading body, collective voice for the youth and the key contact point for interaction with the Government, Private Sector, National and International Actors in formulation and implementation of policy and legislative processes and related issues affecting the youth of Kenya through advocacy, networking, partnership development and information exchange.
Why advocacy as a way to change things in Kenya?
Our education and training system has failed in producing young people with competent skills for self-employment thus introducing over 500,000 graduates every year into the job market, searching for employment. As our economy is a slow-growing one, we are unable to generate enough job opportunities to absorb all these graduates. In addition to other problems facing the country such as IDP menace and insecurity, Kenya is sitting on a time bomb waiting to explode.
We need a positive change through empowerment and a voice for youth to decide their own life future, education system and economy.
TEDxWendani event and especially the community helped us learn from great minds, open our worldview to new opportunities and connect with change makers all around the world. TEDx is our way to tell stories and ideas worth spreading both to KenyaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s youth community and from Kenya to the world.
An idea worth spreading
Having come from a humble background particularly from an orphanage in the slums I am determined to be that person that would contribute in order to have a responsible community empowered to address their social, economic and physical challenges. I would like to be a role model that other youths within the community would look up to.
I'm passionate about
Improving the lives of the poor, disenfranchised children and youths into productive fulfilled and meaningful lives.
Talk to me about
Community work, ICT education, entrepreneurship program, Civic education, youth empowerment ( social and economic rights) and entrepreneurial advocacy.
People don't know I'm good at
Public speaking, playing soccer. Mobilizing youths to attend to a particular course.
My TED story
Am a public speaker/organizer with TEDx Kibera, Nairobi, Kenya. Am also the TEDxWendani organizer, community activist (co-founder Ni Sisi Mashimoni Chapters this is a caucus for young people, we use this platform to drive our political agenda.
Founder Tirinso Outreach Foundation, a community based Organization, www.tirinso.org. I am also the founder of an international organization (Network for Youth Advocacy Kenya) while I am the co-organizer TEDxMathare. Under the banner of Network for Youth Advocacy we focus on Youth Advocacy, information exchange, and peace building. This is a rare platform that gives youth and opportunity to be part and parcel of the day-today leadership process by directly engaging with the those in authority through the devolved government.