Contribution of youth self help group initiatives to socio-economic wellbeing of youth in Dandora, Nairobi City County, Kenya
Masila, Doris Ndinda
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Estimates reveal that 1.2 billion (17%) of the world population is youth aged 15 to 24 years who constitute 40% of the world’s unemployed. While the developed world has some strategies to cushion youth against unemployment, the developing and underdeveloped world are struggling with this phenomenon. Approximately 36% of Kenya’s population are youths who remain marginalised and unable to contribute to their full potential in national development. Whereas numerous studies have been conducted on youth issues, a review of literature reveals a gap of information on how Youth Self Help Group (YSHG) initiatives transform the youths’ socio-economic wellbeing. This study sought to assess the contribution of youth self help group initiatives to socio-economic wellbeing of youth in Dandora, Nairobi County, Kenya. Objectives of this study were to: examine whether initiatives undertaken by youth in registered YSHGs in Dandora contribute to their socioeconomic wellbeing, evaluate the influence of key challenges facing registered youth self help groups on socio-economic wellbeing of youth in Dandora, assess the influence of key opportunities available for registered youth self help group initiatives on socio-economic wellbeing of youth in Dandora, examine the influence of sustainability strategies adopted by registered YSHG initiatives on socio-economic wellbeing of youth in Dandora and assess the socio-economic wellbeing of YSHG members before and after joining YSHG. The hypotheses of the study were there is no significant relationship between the YSHG initiatives, challenges, opportunities, sustainability strategies adopted and contribution of YSHG to the social economic well being of youth in Dandora. The study used the crosssectional survey research design. The target population was all the 16 registered YSHGs in Dandora. Dandora was purposively sampled. YSHGs groups registered with Youth Initiative Kenya (YIKE) were also purposvely sampled. Proportionate random sampling was used to acquire the number of items to be incuded in sampling frame proportionate to the number of members in each group. Simple random sampling was used to acquire the respondents for the study. The findings of this study indicated that some of the reasons for starting YSHGs was to create job opportunities, increase personal income, and gain new skills. Key initiatives undertaken by YSHGs included running cyber café,electronic & retail shops and initiatives geared towards environmental conservation such as garbage collection and tree planting. Findings indicated improved socio-economic wellbeing among the YSHG members. Indicators with greatest improvement in economic wellbeing were savings (63%), income (62%) and asset acquisition (47%). Leading social indicators of wellbeing included access to training (73%) and opportunity for apprenticeship (63%). Chi-square tests revealed significant relationship between social-economic wellbeing and the YSHG factors (initiatives undertaken (p=0.015), financial challenges facing registered YSHG initiatives ( p=0.034), financial opportunities available to YSHGs (p=0.041), collaboration and partenership opportunities (p=0.013)sustainability strategies adopted by YSHG in terms of opportunities for collaboration( p=0.048). Z-Test revealed significant difference in socioeconomic wellbeing of YSHG members before and after joining YSHG (p=0.016). Multiple regression analysis revealed that key challenges was the most predictive variable at (p=0.000) followed by opportunites at (p=0.001) and initiatives (p= 0.019) to social economic wellbeing. From the research findings, it was concluded that YSHGs are a good platform via which development programs can target youth to improve their social economic well being. It was recommended that youth in self helps groups be provided with financial training, formal education, psycho-social support and training in project management and proposal writing. There is need for government to streamline financing mechanisms for access to devolved funds particularly Youth Enterprise Development Fund and Uwezo Fund by the youth.