A new platform to promote youth sexual reproductive health and rights has today been unveiled by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in collaboration with Nailab; one of Kenya’s few and top incubation hubs.
Christened iAccelerator, the platform has been unveiled under the I.AM initiative which calls on young people to realize their desire to talk about, discuss, learn and understand their sexuality and sexual reproductive health by engaging with the right sources of information in a safe and un-stigmatized environment.
In addition, the iAccelerator rallies the engagement of tools and techniques anchored on technology to foster safe spaces for empowerment of young people.
— Josephine Mwangi (@CikuIs) June 13, 2016
The initiative has been developed with the support of the National Council for Population and Development (NCPD) and the Ministry of Health to ensure alignment with national priorities and further contribute to the realization of Vision 2030
“The future of Kenya is in the young people who constitute a third of our population.Empowerment of the youth through innovative interventions and enabling environment especially good governance will greatly contribute in helping Kenya achieve a Demographic Dividend and accelerate attainment of Vision 2030 aspirations.” Noted NCPD Director General, Dr. Josephine Kibaru- Mbae
Current national statistics by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS, 2014) and the National AIDS Control Council (NACC, 2014) indicate that in Kenya, more than 29,000 young people between the ages of 15-24 get infected with HIV every year.
One in every five teenage girl have begun motherhood, with approximately 13,000 dropping out of school each year to raise their kids.
In addition, nearly half of all abortion related complications occur among girls below 25 years and is among the leading causes of maternal mortality and morbidity.
In this regard, UNFPA regional director Julitta Onabanjo made it clear that as an organization, they can no longer do business as usual, as they strive to deliver excellence for the women, girls and young people through innovation and out of the box thinking.
On the other hand, Nailab Founder Sam Gichuru, noted that the solutions faced by young people lies in their hand and in technology.
— UNFPA Kenya (@UNFPAKen) June 13, 2016
“Data has been the primary anchor on which this acceleration program has been established. The power of customer centered solutions lies in the provision of data to innovators and consumers alike. Our passion is to not only catalyze the development of commercially viable businesses but more so businesses heavily invested in improving our societies’ wellbeing.This is indeed a labour of love for Nailab.” added Gichuru
The UNFPA- Nailab accelerator project is set to run from August through to November 2016 but will be preceded by the campaign I.AM, through which young people will be called upon to own and engage in the conversation and also apply with their developed solutions that address sexuality and sexual reproductive health issues.
Four social enterprise lead by young entrepreneurs will be picked to join the accelerator program and go through 2 months of training, mentoring and assistance for fine-tuning their solution and business model.
They will then have 2 months of support in going to the market for which training, mentorship and seed-funding of Ksh. 1,000,000 will be availed based on achievement of pre-agreed business milestones.
Applications and details on the application can now be accessed on: www.i-am.co.ke