YADEN (Youth, Arts, Development & Entrepreneurship Network) is a YOUTH focused Development and Entrepreneurship Initiative on a MISSION to mobilise young people and assist them identify their POTENTIAL. Facilitate them advance these potentials into SKILLS. Skills that offer them an opportunity to earn a DECENT LIVELIHOOD at the same time EMPOWERING them to actively participate in socio-cultural and econo-politico development of their COMMUNITIES. YADEN
is an East African regional organization based in Nairobi and works with over 200 Art and Development youth organizations drawn from the East African region (Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi). YADEN
was founded in 2003 by Sami Gathii and works in an innovative, inclusive and participatory Arts and Sports based method targeting marginalized and disfranchised young people as an entry to the wider community. YADEN
supports young people to come together and learn from one another by exchanging their ideas and experiences, Impacts new information, knowledge and skills which help un-lock young people´s entrepreneurial potentials. Among special groups targeted includes, Urban Youths living in informal settlements/slums/ghettos and The Young Women. For YADEN
the skilled, empowered and progressive young people help stimulate and inspire new ideas that act as ‘hope’ for their communities, communities that have been dispirited, weakened and disempowered due to crippling poverty, limited access to financial and material resources, collapsed health and infrastructural services and an adversely degraded environment, among other developmental challenges. YADEN
cross-cutting thematic issues include;
- Education. Advocating for universal education for all and promoting an ‘education for life’ concept that seeks to produce an ‘all round citizen’ with capacity to positively contribute in their communities developmental agenda.
- HIV/AIDS. Exploring new approaches in addressing the epidemic by engaging young people especially the most vulnerable group ‘young women’ in devising collective, inclusive, participatory and innovative behavioural change strategies, sensitive to both scientific evidence as well as ‘human factors’ in development of traditional and contemporary culture, religion, relations, peer pressure etc.
- Gender. Seeking inclusive & innovative ways of promoting gender equity and promoting increased participation of women especially young women in decision making process through a ‘deliberate focus’ approach to issues affecting women such as gender based violence among others.
- Diversity & Governance. Ensuring peaceful co-existence through promoting respect and understanding of the other as the foundation of building an equitable, tolerant, democratic and human rights aware/respecting society. Acknowledging diversity beyond ethnicity to include disability, believes, sexuality differences etc.
- Entrepreneurship. Acknowledging sustainable development must address people’s right and capacity to earn a descent income. Promote private-public partnership that supports and engages youth dynamism, creativity and innovativeness as primary capital in setting up social-economic ventures that help alleviate poverty at the grassroots.
Besides the many Youth Groups forming the YADEN East African Network, YADEN also partners with Civil Society Groups, Government Departments, Development / Funding Organisations, International Youth and Development Platforms, Community & Faith based organisations (CBO´s, FBO´s) and the Corporate / Private sector to realise its Objectives