The Access Innovation Prize 2012

The Access Innovation Prize is a new initiative that will award 5 lots of US$20,000 to individuals, organizations or networks that have the best actionable ideas of how to use information technology to promote and enable human rights or deliver a social good outcome. $100,000 will be granted in 2012.

The Access Innovation Prize is designed to discover and reward ideas that demonstrate unique promise, opportunity and possibility. You can submit a near to complete project, improve an existing tool or create something totally new.

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A.J. Muste Memorial Fund, International Nonviolence Training Grants – Call for Applications

The A.J. Muste Memorial Institute funds projects which promote the principles and practice of nonviolent social change through grantmaking programs including the International Nonviolence Training Fund (INTF).

The INTF was created in 1994 by a group of concerned donors with the aim of specifically supporting nonviolence trainings. (For information about our other grantmaking programs, please see the grants page on )

Nonviolence trainings seek to help people develop and improve the skills they need to confront systemic injustice through organized, principled, nonviolent action. Trainings promote the exchange of ideas, information, and strategies, through which activists can become more effective at using nonviolent action in their struggles.


The INTF supports nonviolence training outside the United States, and within Native nations in the US.

Projects eligible for support include:

  • Those which build capacity and leadership among people engaged in nonviolent struggles;
  • Those which prepare participants for specific nonviolent actions or campaigns;
  • Those geared to “training the trainers,” in order to expand and multiply nonviolence training throughout a targeted community.

Preference is given to:

  • Projects which involve trainers from the local area or region, where such trainers are available.
  • Groups which are small, community-based and have less access to funding from other sources.

The maximum grant amount is US$3,000.

The INTF does not fund:

  • Trainings which are geared primarily toward resolving conflicts between individuals, building life skills or job skills, or achieving personal empowerment or economic independence.
  • Conflict resolution or violence reduction programs which do not directly promote activism for social justice.
  • Scholarships or other funding for people to travel abroad to attend courses or training sessions.
  • Trainings with budgets over US$50,000, or organizations with annual budgets over US$500,000.

The Muste Institute can and does directly fund organizations which do not have their own 501(c)3 non-profit tax-exempt status, and/or which are not incorporated. The only time the Institute requires a fiscal sponsor is if the organization does not have its own bank account. If you cannot receive a grant directly (with the grant check made out to the name of your organization), please indicate this in your proposal and include information about your fiscal sponsor, including a letter indicating the sponsor’s tax-exempt status and some basic information such as a brochure or brief annual report.


The next deadlines for proposals for the International Nonviolence Training Fund is December 2nd 2011.

The review and decision process takes approximately four months.

The INTF does not consider proposals for trainings which will have already taken place by the time its decision is made, so you are urged to apply at least four to five months before your training is set to begin, especially if you need preparation time for the training after notification of the grant decision.

Groups which receive INTF grants must generally wait two years before applying again to the INTF.


To submit a proposal, fill out completely the INTF Grant Application Form:

Email the completed form (preferably in MS Word or RTF format) with all required attachments to intf(at)  with the subject line “INTF:” followed by the name of your group.

NOTE: If you are awarded a grant, you will have to provide a complete financial accounting for all funds received from the Muste Institute, demonstrating that they were used in accord with the grant agreement. This accounting is due as soon as the money is spent or within six months, whichever comes first. If funds from a grant remain unspent after six months, you must submit an updated accounting every six months until the complete grant is spent. This financial accounting should be accompanied by copies of materials produced with Institute funds, and a brief narrative report on the project.

Go to to find more grant opportunities

Akiba Uhaki Foundation – Call For Proposals 2012

Akiba Uhaki Foundation (AUF) is a proactive grant-making organization dedicated to supporting and accompanying Human Rights and Social Justice related organizations in East Africa i.e. Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda.

In pursuit of its mandate and in line with the above intervention strategy, AUF invites applications from community-based/community-serving or national organizations in East Africa, whether registered and unregistered (provided the unregistered organizations are fiscally hosted by registered ones) for support on innovative and potentially high impact projects in the promotion and protection of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights of marginalized and disadvantaged communities in the region.

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Statement from the National Youth Sector Alliance on the Misappropriation of the The Kazi Kwa Vijana and the Kenya Youth Empowerment Program Funds by Government Officials.

Nairobi: September 24th 2011

The National Youth Sector Alliance is disturbed by the news that that Kazi Kwa Vijana Funds provided by the World Bank for the purpose of empowering Kenyan Youth with job opportunities have been misappropriated by top officials in the office of the Prime Minister. Media reports indicate that the World Bank released 4 Billion Shillings for KKV and that it is demanding a refund of over 900 million which is claimed to be misappropriated by officials in the OPM.

In 2008 during the National Youth Convention (NYCIV), the youth delegates complained directly to the Prime Minister of the poor design of the KKV program noting that most of the funds were being spent not directly reaching the youth with a tagline of “Kazi Kwa Vija Pesa Kwa Wazee” It was recommended that the design of the program be restructured in order to directly empower the Kenyan youth. The recommendations were never taken into account by the Office of the Prime Minister.


During the inaugural Prime Minister’s Round Table with the Youth in September of 2010, under the Youth Empowerment Thematic Focus, a specific recommendation was made to the effect that the impact of the KKV was not being achieved due to poor structure and implementation. It was recommended that the Program be restructured to accommodate both labour intensive as well as intellectual capacity of the many millions of graduates from both tertiary and other institutions of higher learning in the country.


While the program was expanded and largely involved the Private Sector, the office of the Prime Minister managed to rename the department to Kenya Youth Empowerment Program. No caution was taken to the re-designing and structure of the KKV Program implementation. The specific recommendation in the matrix of implementation has never been responded to.


The fact that there has been public outcry and a lot of advice given on how to restructure the KKV, it is disturbing that the bureaucracy in the Office of the Prime Minister has not been keen to redesigning the program for the public good.


It should be noted that KKV is the closest that Kenya has come to creating massive employment opportunities for the high numbers of the unemployed population in the Country. The Fact that advice to make the program work has not been taken, is a confirmation of the existence of an axis of evil in Government that is hell bent to continue enjoying youth disenfranchisement for short term political gains.


It is still not clear how much money has been misappropriated and how much has already been disbursed. NYSA will initiate the process to bring to the fore the facts in partnership with other key stakeholders. The process will immediately seek to have an audience with the Kenyan youth and the relevant Government agencies to get into the root of the matter under question.


Pending Issues on the Youth Enterprise Development Fund;


It should also be noted that there are many questions that are left unanswered on the Youth Enterprise Development Fund. There have been unconfirmed allegations of fictitious and non-existent youth groups being beneficiaries of the Fund with millions of shillings reported missing without financial returns. All this matters must now be put under investigation and the agenda of Youth Empowerment in Kenya brought to naught in order to deal with the unemployment issue once and for all.


Demands from the Youth of Kenya


The Youth of Kenya, demand the following from the office of the Prime Minister and the Coalition Government;


1. A comprehensive financial audit of KKV and YEDF conducted with the following details;


a. the total amount of money used,

b. the kinds of projects accomplished,

c. the number and names of youth beneficiaries and how much they have received

d. the impact of the program aggregated according to region and gender.


2. Immediate suspension of the Officers in charge of the Kenya Youth Empowerment Program (KYEP) in the office of the Prime Minister.

3. Independent investigations to immediately commence and the officers found culpable of the misappropriation of the KKV and YEDF funds be prosecuted.

4. Immediate suspension of any financial undertakings on the program until it is comprehensively redesigned through a team of experts with young people included through a competitive independent, public vetting process.


Leadership from the two Principles


The National Youth Sector Alliance calls upon the President and the Prime Minister to put aside all their assignments and directly attend to these issues. This is a clear picture of corruption and the Youth of Kenya demand for accountability on funds meant for them. Transparency MUST Prevail.


Signed for and on behalf of the National Youth Sector Alliance.

Emmanuel Dennis

Convener – NYSA

Kenyan Youth Strategy Meeting 2011 – Nairobi Declaration

13th and 14th October 2011


We, the delegates to the Kenyan Youth Strategy Meeting for Rio +20 at the United Nations Complex at Gigiri, Nairobi:

Acknowledge the African indigenous knowledge of the sacred value of the environment to biodiversity wellbeing.

Commit to promote innovations that will develop a green economy and promote the eradication of poverty.

Take note of the past declarations towards environmental sustainability both at the African and Global level, there is an urgent need for structural and infrastructural interventions in policy formulation, implementation and evaluation.

Recognize the current global environmental challenges, particularly climate change, which impact our common future and wellbeing, we commit ourselves to support of the following mechanisms:

  • Good governance and transformative leadership.
  • Promote Education, information exchange, communication and awareness
  • Achieve sustainable agricultural practices to reduce hunger, starvation and enhance food security.
  • Advocate for the development and implementation of sustainable development policies towards a Green Economy.
  • Invest in and promote eco-friendly entrepreneurship and job creation.
  • Attain sustainable green cities and villages.
  • Promote public engagement and participation through culture and volunteerism.
  • Promote Youth Development and capacity building
  • Good Governance and Transformative Leadership

We recognize the role of good governance and transformative sustainable development leadership that is

  • Participatory
  • accountable,
  • transparent and
  • implementable

at national and county levels. We reject governance that is weak on transitioning to a green economy and embrace that which promotes a green economy which engenders human well-being and social equity and respect for the natural environment, and the value of biodiversity and eco-systems, guided by, and accountable to, a new World Environment Organisation with universal membership by all UN Member States.  We also call for mechanisms in such new institutions that allow for youth participation in decision-making.

Youth delegations have to be engaged at all levels of governance in discussing benchmarks for the green economy. The Youth need to be involved in efforts towards policy formulation and development of institutional frameworks. Additionally, youth participation should be integrated at local, national and international assessments towards the development of an index for measuring the progress towards a green economy.

Promote Education, information exchange, communication and awareness

We recommend the adoption of green economy and sustainable development education material at all levels of education and public training initiatives by 2014. We intend to achieve this through the creation of various information sharing methods to various segments of the society.

We acknowledge that education underpins awareness; and awareness is critical to the spread of sustainable development principles through multiple levels in society.

Education serves as a hub for understanding the types of information to be considered when thinking about the green economy; how monitoring will be shaped in the context of the information identified as relevant; and the role of education on the environment to serve as a communication/public awareness tool on sustainable development.

Build an understanding toward the intersection of business, environment and society, in educating all people about the tenets critical to achieve sustainable development, especially the Youth.

Action: Build a national curriculum standard that promotes business in a green society. 2015

Action: Educate students in primary and secondary schools on the green economy by creating incentives that allow NGOs, student groups or CBOs to serve as ambassadors for education of the green economy. 2015

Action:  Build a monitoring service from the information-discovered. Discovery of information should be an integrated process involving key stakeholders with a special emphasis on Youth. Progress towards sustainable development goals should be identified as key thematic working groups, using poverty alleviation and institutional reform as output goals, and involvement of youth and CBOs as an inherent part of the process. 2018

Achieve sustainable agricultural practices to reduce hunger, starvation and enhance food security.

Whereas recognizing the interrelation between our national forest cover and agricultural productivity we recommend the following measures;

  • Increasing our national forest cover to 10% from the current 2% by the year 2015 through creation of green parks, promoting agroforestry and sustainable agribusiness.
  • Phasing out of hazardous chemical fertilizers in arable farming by the year 2015.
  • Promoting the utilization of the green energy technologies to enhance affordable agricultural production.

Advocate for the development and implementation of sustainable development policies towards a Green Economy.

Develop sustainability measures and indicators against which government programmes can be measured and assessed.

Advocate for the legislation of policies on sustainable development that regulate the corporations’ adherence to green economy modules.

Ensure that approximately 25% of the annual government development budget goes towards program initiatives on sustainable development, with clear indication on targets towards green growth in community development and individual technological entrepreneurship.  15% of the 5% funding should be geared towards mobilizing and benchmarking activities to demarcate marginal change of youth involvement in the green economy.  35% of that “Sustainable Development funding” should be geared towards supporting renewable energy and zero-carbon activities that are both sustainable and demonstrably financially viable, in a local and youth-oriented level. 2013

Ensure the programmatic and structural archetype of an environmental body that can hold nations and member-states accountable for reporting and making transparent their pathways and transitions towards a green economy. 2015

Ensure that the youth are fully represented at the National Land Commission.

Invest in and promote eco-friendly entrepreneurship and job creation.

Establish independent institutional mechanisms for promoting green entrepreneurship and growth among youth.

Set up an independent fund to provide start-up financing for green enterprises by youth

Promote technological, business and social innovation through creating enabling policy environment and platforms

Invest in business models that promote community development

Promote alternative and innovative funding and investment in youth green enterprises such as crowd-funding

Sensitize youth at all levels on green entrepreneurship through different channels such as new media

Create enabling business and policy environment for green entrepreneurship, for example, tax waivers for youth green enterprises

Promote public engagement and participation through culture and volunteerism.

We recognize the aspect of culture and indigenous knowledge that embraced green economy through agroforestry, organic fertilizers for sustainable development.

For sustainable development towards green economy, we recommend the need for selfless/political willingness from all levels of governance, private sector and individuals in promoting the green economy.

We recommend that; at all levels of policy formulation and participation, there is need for public engagement and concurrence which will enhance easy implementation and sustainability.

We stand for investment, documentation, promotion and development of best practices in cultural beliefs and practices that further conservation and renewable energy founded on indigenous knowledge.

Promotion of community and youth-led exchanges is key in this regard for effective sharing and transfer of green growth skills through access and exchange of information.

We appreciate that volunteerism will act as a means of inculcating community ownership of sustainable development initiatives.

Harness public engagement and Youth volunteerism to benchmark progress on the role of corporations in sustainable development through Corporate Socially Responsible initiatives.

Attain sustainable green cities and villages

Develop an independent institution to assess business models for micro-enterprises to assess their suitability for tax benefits and other incentives. And to regulate and ensure that micro-enterprises do not compromise environmental sustainability.

Develop comprehensive waste management systems by:

  • Placing increased emphasis on waste separation and recycling systems;
  • Establishing dug-in decomposition landfills where decomposable materials are put to decompose; once decomposed the material can be used as organic manure.

Establish awards to recognize and celebrate the effort of cities and villages that take significant steps in transforming into green cities and villages.

Regulate transportation to reduce congestion by:

  • Establishing dedicated lanes for public transport vehicles and
  • Implement mass transport systems such as rail transport.

Promote Youth Development and capacity building

In order to facilitate and further build capacity in youth to fully engage in and drive development processes to address the above priority areas, we call upon our governments to:

Adopt a Youth Development Index as an indicator of the welfare of the youth in the countries; and as a measure of the youth development.

Review existing and develop new policies and legislation to:

Promote youth innovation and entrepreneurship through structures such as:

  • Talent Academies
  • Technology and Business incubation centres

Protect these innovations through structures and measures such as:

  • Strong and easily accessible Intellectual Property protection
  • Moderate and accommodative tax regimes

Promoting youth participation in international forums through

  • Incorporating youth delegations as part of national delegations to international conferences
  • Providing funding for youth to participate at international
  • Incorporating youth in National policy formulation and implementation

Develop and strengthen national and local structures to provide support and training for youth organizations with emphasis in the areas of:

  • Establishment of community and youth led organizations
  • Leadership and organizational management
  • Strategic Planning
  • Project Management

Require that all government ministries establish youth offices and develop and implement youth engagement strategies to streamline youth participation in the work of the ministries.

Convene national and local youth forums to discuss matters relevant to youth development and make recommendations for action in support of youth development by state and non-state actors.

Improve youth access to information especially with regard to rural communities and informal urban settlements, through Establishment of community ICT Digital Villages


We, as young people, this is what we declare and recommend our government, individuals, businesses, development organizations and all stakeholders to undertake ahead of Rio+20 and beyond. Any action to be taken affects us and our future generation to a greater extent. We care about our planet and we will all work together in creating a more sustainable era. Green Economy is Achievable.

Peace Call To The Youth Of Côte D’ Ivoire

By the Youth Bridge Foundation and the African Youth and Governance (AYG) Conference

‘It is only by being committed to peace that we can give a chance to the youth of today and future generations to thrive and allow the African people to enjoy dignified life experiences.’ – Dr. N’Dri Thérèse Assié-Lumumba, Professor at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, Ivorian, Daughter of Africa and Patron of YBF

Youth Bridge Foundation and the African Youth and Governance (AYG) Conference is deeply worried about the ongoing post-election conflict in Côte d’Ivoire. YBF and AYG are particularly concerned about the tensed political climate and resultant violence in Côte d’Ivoire with the youth as both perpetrators and victims of the violence.

On the platform of the African Youth and Governance (AYG) Conference- Accra 2009 and again in August 2010, Youth Bridge Foundation and the entire AYG-Conference Community questioned whether the ever increasing youthful population of Africa, currently estimated at 60 per cent of the continent’s total population presents a potential threat to stability or potential resource for development.

We agreed that for the youth to be a blessing rather than a curse to the continent, a lot depends on the actions African Governments, politicians, the International Community and the citizenry of Africa take or purposefully refuse to take today to prepare the youth for the future.

Regrettably, the Côte d’Ivoire debacle suggests that we are yet to learn the lessons of the past and failing to provide the right leadership to steer the youth of Africa away from violence and destruction. It was not long ago that Kenya suffered similarly civil strife leading to the death of over a 1,000 people mostly young Africans and causing severe disruptions to the economy of Kenya and neighbouring African countries.

Some compelling facts and figures from Sir John Holmes (UN Under-Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs) in report to the UN Security Council on the electoral conflict in Kenya (2007) is worth recalling in this context. He reported that:

  • Over 73 per cent of the assault in Kenya was carried out by youth aged 14-29 years.
  • Economy: (a) The Kenyan State lost US$1.3 Billion (just on production);
    • (b)Tax Revenue: 3-days after the election, the business community lost 2 Billion Shilling (equiv to US$30.42 Million) worth of taxes daily due to the unrest.
  • Ripple effect of Kenyan’s conflict on Tanzania, Uganda, Burundi and Rwanda was devastating.
    • Tanzania: Rely on Kenyan’s Ports for transportation of over 90 per cent their daily consumables.
    • Uganda: with over 80 per cent of Uganda’s imports passing through the Port of Mombasa, Uganda revenue authority reported daily income losses of up to US$600,000.
    • Burundi: Commercial trade and humanitarian assistance to Burundi rely solely on Kenyan ports.

Having crossed over to New Year 2011, the Youth Bridge Foundation and the African Youth and Governance Conference Community remain:

CONVINCED that Africa’s greatest resource is its youthful population (60 per cent of the continent’s population) and that through their productive participation and positive mobilization, Africans can surmount the continent’s many challenges;

ALARMED by the continuous loss of lives violently and slowly due to lack or inadequacy of medical services, and high sense of insecurity which disproportionately affects the vulnerable (women and children) in Côte d’Ivoire;

NOTE that the protection of lives and access to food and shelter is every Ivorian’s human right;

RESPONDING to the recent charge to African youth, at African Youth and Governance Conference (Accra 2010), as contained in the Communiqué, to resist any form of political or social negative mobilization that contribute to the problems of the African continent rather than solutions;



Young People of Côte d’Ivoire:

  1. To be reminded that they have the responsibility to steer Côte d’Ivoire into stability;
  2. To remain calm in the light of all the efforts at negotiation and diplomatic talks;
  3. To demonstrate that they have a land to cherish, a future to protect, a challenge to overcome but a commitment to build the future today;
  4. Not to take up arms and allow themselves to be used for violence;


Youth wings of the two contending political parties particularly the Young Patriots:

Embrace the above appeal and give peace a chance.


All Stakeholders (ECOWAS, AU, International):

Not to give up too quickly on peace without compromising the principles of free and fair elections.





Executive Director

Youth Bridge Foundation

African Youth and Governance Conference Initiative

Accra, Ghana /


Tel.: +233-302- 938999 / +233-24-3229505


Can we call the MPs bluff?

By Odhiambo T Oketch

As we usher in the New Year, we must all stand up and be counted. The country ended the year on a wrong note from our Members of Parliament and I bet we should call their bluff.

Let us interrogate the team that put up a spirited effort to have Kenya withdraw from the ICC process. This is the same team that sang in parliament that we should not be vague- it is the Hague. This is the same team that thwarted 3 attempts in Parliament that could have set up a local tribunal.

At that time they thought that the ICC process will come 30 years down the line, and they said as much.

What comes to mind is the shifting of allegiance as corrupt networks show all and sundry how powerful they are. In so voting, Parliament was in actual fact entrenching impunity. We are being shown how powerless we are as a people and that the Lords of Impunity can play with our national psyche at will.

We all know what ails Kenya. We know how the corrupt have captured power structures and choked the Judiciary. They have now regrouped to operate from the precincts of Parliament and we are cheering them on.

We must condemn our Parliamentarians in the strongest terms possible for showing insensitivity to the plight of the Internally Displaced Persons. MPs must not play roulette with the plight of IDPs; that now they assemble at Panafric Hotel to raise funds for them and the next instance they are voting to protect the interest of the war lord!

As we start the New Year, let us re-focus on the dictates of our New Constitution, which many of them fought so hard to shoot down. We must rededicate our efforts to fight corruption in all its manifestation. It is sad to auction the National Assembly and use the House to advance parochial interests; interests that are at variance with our national aspirations.

Parliament must remain above reproach at all the times. But some of our current group in Parliament are loaded guns ready for hire. It does not matter to them the merit of the assignment. What matters to some MPs is the amount you put on the table and they shoot.

Look at how Hon William Ruto has handled himself in the recent past. The man operates as if he is the paragon of virtue while the rest of our leaders including the President are zombies. The man is inciting the Kalenjins against Kenyans on a daily basis and the National Integration and Cohesion Commission looks on as if nothing is happening. Do they need to be prompted?

As much as the man is running off the field, Ruto is a time bomb ready to explode and he wants to explode with innocent Kenyans. If there is hate speech, do not go far off from Ruto. The man has a slimy tongue and as the Bible says, the tongue can be a tricky slimy tool. Ruto is using it to the fullest. Someone should tell him to stop digging; he is in a hole. He needs our collective redemption.

The last bit is the confusion these chaps want to visit on us that they are the young leaders we should vote for. I want to be very clear on this; if Ruto is the change that we need, then I need no change.

We are struggling to build one Kenya that has respect for all; Ruto does not respect all.

We are struggling to build one Kenya for all; Ruto and his team are busy dividing us on a daily basis. He preaches hatred any time he opens his mouth. He can easily make fools to fight. The good thing is that many Kalenjins have called his bluff and refused to be that vile.

We want a Kenya that is free of corruption and impunity. I am sure we cannot get this from this team that is masquerading as the face of the young leaders ready to salvage Kenya. Many of the leaders in this camp thrive on impunity. They preach hatred and corruption shadows all their movements.

Kenyans must support the ICC process to help us regain some sanity in our way of doing things. The perpetrators of the Post Election Violence must be punished. We have proved that we cannot punish these guys three years down the line, the world must hence punish them.

Let us not be hoodwinked by these young people who believe in nothing. They stand for nothing and they have nothing to offer. The only thing that unites them is the fear of one Raila Amolo Odinga becoming the President of Kenya.

2012 beckons and my voters card is ready.

Odhiambo T Oketch

Komarock Nairobi