Formally YouthCaffe was founded by funds raised from the Hackney Half Marathon held in UK by Juliana Odindo’s friends Saoirse and Sam of the Rest¬less Development organization. (www://www. indiegogo.com/projects/youth-caffee-support-young-people-living-with-hiv#/story). Juliana’s quest was to have young people living or affected by HIV and SRHR issues to be supported by other young people who had their shared experience, young people who knew how young people living with HIV and AIDS felt. Young friends who knew what other young people living with HIV and AIDS needed.
Juliana is one of those young people living with HIV and AIDS. She was born HIV positive and knows what it’s like to grow up and have to take medication every day, including those days you don’t want to including what it’s like to go to a clinic and feel misunderstood.
“What we need is for young people living or affected by HIV and SRHR issues to be supported by other young people who have their shared experiences,who know how they feel and know what they need.”
Juliana also understands that none of these things exist in a vacuum and that, as a young person, one is up against the odds of unemployment and the realities of being unskilled or uneducated when living in a developing country.
As a result of her direct experience Juliana has dedicated her life to helping other young people like her to overcome the challenges in life that come with being an adolescent along with the added weight of HIV, lack of employment opportunities and a lack of awareness about your rights.
Juliana and her four “drug-buddy-friends” : Ibrahim Haumara, Damaris Moragwa, Beryl Ndolo and Victor Omondi, set up YouthCaffe which teaches young people about their sexual and reproductive health rights and skills, HIV and AIDS, ICT and Multimedia skills in web design and coding, Entrepreneurship, Peace and Commu¬nity Cohesion. The Funds from Hackney Marathon was deployed for getting YouthCaffe off the ground. The monies were used to buy computers, rent a learning space, pay for staff salaries and for linkages in Nairobi.
YouthCaffe is a high-breed model of best practises followed in similar projects dealing in Digital jobs Markets, ICT and Multimedia industry, SRH, HIV & AIDS, Peace and Cohesion projects. It was informed by a pilot ICT and Multime-dia research project “I-school Kenya conducted in 2012”, lessons learnt from implementation of Hope for Kisumu Youth Achievers from 2004 in Kisumu and a social media campaign class assignment from The University of Nairobi.
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