I would want to start to share a quote with you from a Development Compact of the United Nations (UN, The Millennium Development Compact 2003, New York: UN 2004: 3):
“When governments are corrupt, incompetent or unaccountable to their citizens, national economies falter. When income inequality is very high, rich people often control the political system and simply neglect poor people, forestalling broadly based development. Similarly, if governments fail to invest adequately in the health and education of their people, economic growth will eventually peter out because of an insufficient number of healthy, skilled workers.”
Wale Wale Youth Center are placed in Kibera, the largest slum area of East Africa. In Kibera, youths lack protection of social rights. For example, many youth in Kibera do not have the possibility to study, often for economic reasons. We believe that “Every individual shall have the right to education”, as stated in the African Charter of Human and Peoples Rights (1986) article 17.1. Not having access to education creates a state of idleness, which is standing in the way for development of the young people in Kibera, as citizens of Kenya.
Among the most important rights we have, Kenya as a state is responsible within international law to protect, respect and fulfil the right to access food which often can be a problem in this area. Lack of food is a great issue for the people in Kibera, which leads to malnutrition. Malnutrition is a state where a person does not have enough food, or qualitative food, to cover his/hers needs of nutrition, which leads to diseases and death. In the African Charter, it’s no article that directly explain this right, though this right can be said to be implicit in the African Charter in other articles, like Right to Life (article 4), Right to Health (article 16) and Right to economic, social and cultural development (article 22).
Therefore, Wale Wale wants to be a place that can protect these social rights by being a safe place for the youth to spend their spare-time, providing tools for personal development as well as offering the possibility to study at our future high school – Wale Wale Future Center. We believe that by building the Wale Wale Future Center, we WILL be able to offer this possibility for more youth in Kibera. Wale Wale will also make an impact in Kibera society as well as Kenya in general by being a place of personal development that will guide the youth into democratic political participation. We believe that – also mentioned in the UN Development Compact from 2003 – well-functioning governance of economic policies, human rights, well-functioning institutions and democratic political participation is vital for human development.