On the evening of October 16, four youth-led organization volunteers--sponsored under the umbrellas of Kuwait’s LOYAC (Lothan Youth Achievement Center)--spoke at the AWARE center in Surra, Kuwait.
These two groups were K4K (Kuwait for Kenya) and Nutri Viva. The former group was formed in 2006 to help promote youth and leadership programs and their locations at 3 training centers in Mombasa, Kenya. The latter organization, Nutri Viva, was founded a bit more recently by Kuwait University students concerned with bad health in Kuwait promoted by the lack of common awareness about nutrition.
LOYAC is a non-profit foundation which seeks to train and empower youth in Kuwait—regardless of nationality--to build a better country and to build a better planet. Alas, many non-Kuwaiti youth are not aware of this great opportunity, so to date very few other nationalities have been represented in many of the LOYAC activities in a country where many schools are technically segregated by nationality, tribe, class or wealth.
Besides the Nutri Viva and the K4K groups, LOYAC sponsors drama and thespian groups. LOYAC also supports youth sports clubs and intra-school competitions. It assists students to study or serve as ambassadors for the organization or country in various lands around the globe. Some of these youth have recently worked in the United Nations or the British Parliament.
Moreover, LOYAC offers both mentoring and training seminars, such as on the 7 HABITS OF HIGHLY SUCCESSFUL COLLEGE STUDENTS.
At a time when Kuwait has run many budget surpluses and as Kuwaiti-paid wages have increased at 10% annual rate in recent years, it is certainly a hopeful sign that Kuwaiti youth have an interest in reaching across borders and promoting international peace and development.
Youth in Kuwait have a few outlets, like LOYAC, to empower young leaders to reach out. The presentations at the AWARE Center on the even of WORLD FOOD DAY provided a very important glimmer of HOPE that the country of Kuwait—infamous for its badly run economy and for too many youth left to drug problems and drag racing on busy highways at rush-hour—can develop stronger leaders in decades to come.
According to K4K’s own website, “The K4K (Kuwait for Kenya) project was sparked by the painful sights of the streets of Mombasa through the eyes of Kuwaiti youth. Children of five sniffed glue and gasoline as an alternative to food. HIV/AIDS is very prevalent and spreads uncontrollably among the youth, not to mention the millions of children born positive to it. Poverty is everywhere in Mombasa, which means furthering one’s education or career is not always possible. The flickering light of hope comes in the form of MYCC (Mombassa Youth Counseling Center) and K4K.”
At the AWARE center, two Kuwaiti volunteers, Sarah and Mariam, spoke on behalf of K4K. Both young 20-somethings had been active in the organization for the past year. After returning from studying abroad and after helping raise funds for K4K through various activities, exhibitions, auctions, and other projects, both Sarah and Mariam were obviously enjoying the fruits of their efforts.
When asked by the audience whether they would return to Kenya again and volunteer, both Sarah and Mariam stated, “We’d go [if we have the chance] again and again and again. They [the Kenyans] were so happy. The Kenyans are amazing people.”
When asked whether they experienced any risks in going to Kenya to work on building projects and to teach in schools, the reply was, “Basically no, we had our full vaccines and took pills. Kenya is just the friendliest place…. Of course, there are dark corners in every country where you don’t want to go alone.”
K4K projects in recent years have enabled three training centers for youth (their age and younger) in Mombasa to improve their infrastructures significantly over the past three years.
K4K volunteers have been involved in financing and building school rooms, blackboards, classroom desks, computers, and water installation projects. These Mombasan partner centers for K4K centers are the Goodwill Academy, the Mombasa Youth Counseling Center (MYCC), and Child Development Center (CDC).
K4K’s projects at the these three centers for 2009 include:
-At the Child Development Center (CDC)—K4K will be installing and fitting a new library, new kitchen, dining hall and the replacement of one old rickety classroom with 3 three new ones