Dickson Obonyo Okong’o is a youth and peace advocate with over 10 years of experience in the community development sector, specifically focusing on issues around democracy, conflict transformation, and promotion of access to justice. Dickson is the founder and the current executive director of stretchers youth organization. He is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in development studies, he has a diploma in community development, a certificate in organization management, and a community paralegal.
He is Among the youth leaders who strongly contributed to the development of the first-ever Mombasa county action plan in preventing and countering violent extremism manual that runs for five years in 2017-2022.
Through his influence together with his colleagues at stretchers youth organization he supported the county government of Mombasa department of youth, sport, and gender to develop the first-ever Mombasa county youth development policy in 2020. The policy addresses key areas on how the county government of Mombasa engages youths and promotes their development.
Dickson seats at Global Coalition on Youth, Peace, and Security, representing the voices of youths in Kenya on issues around peace and human rights. WG-YPB is part of the broader UN Inter-Agency Network on Youth Development (IANYD). This WG-YPB provides overall guidance and support to the growing community of practice on youth, peace, and security (YPS) and helps coordinate ways to translate SCR 2250 policy into practice. The WG-YPB is co-chaired by the United Nations Peacebuilding Support Office (PBSO), the United Network of Youth Peacebuilders (UNOY) and Search for Common Ground (SFCG) and brings together a wide constituency of civil society organizations, including youth-led and youth-focused organizations, UN entities, donors, academia and inter-governmental bodies.
Dickson is an alumni of YALI east Africa regional leadership center cohort 36. Dickson is the top 35 under 35 award winner Youth of the Year under the Health services/projects category. The Top 35 under 35 Awards & Expo is a Youth Agenda’s annual initiative focused on its three main program areas. He is a winter global youth forum 2021 alumnae by International Labor Organization. The Forum aims to explore the critical role that young people can play in achieving Sustainable Development Goals.
Dickson previously worked with Muslims for human rights (MUHURI) as a human rights officer, Worked with African youth trust as project assistant/facilitator, and Kenya national commission for human rights as an election Monitor and observer.
Zipporah Njoki is the current administrator of Stretchers Youth Organization and the Gender officer/lead paralegal in the Access to justice Center of the organization that deals in providing legal assistance to the vulnerable communities that need legal aid but can’t afford it because of restrains in resources or other factors such as inequality.
She also doubles up as the project officer of the NJIA ZA HAKI project that is supported through AMKENI! Program by UNDP and implemented by Kituo Cha Sheria and Stretchers Youth Organization. Through the different thematic areas that the organization works she is a champion and peer educators in matters of involving adolescents and young people in better decision making through the programs of sexual reproductive health and rights and also working in partnership with men as partners(MAP) program of the Dreams Initiative. Her work has been recognized ending up scoping the prestigious recognition of being the staff of the year 2019 award.
What makes her always have the zeal to be associated with stretchers is the fact that she has developed a growing passion and interest of being part of changing the community to become a better place by promoting and advocating for equality in service provisions for all and especially for the most vulnerable people in the community by making sure that the ignorance of not knowing the law ends and the interest of knowing your rights is developed in a manner that there are no circumstances and space for one to be taken advantage of.
Zipporah as a woman is passionate to see a word when women and girls are not marginalized anymore but are given the equal chance to acquire what they desire most in an environment that equality, peace, love and respect thrives.
Zipporah is a mother something that she is proud of since it gives her the chance to know how it feels to share her love with the people she cares most about. She was born at Nairobi and raised there but currently resides in Mombasa she does enjoy spending time with the family and friend at the beach and making memories that would last a lifetime, she also enjoys doing her new found interest of being a photographer as her side hustle job.
Zipporah has been in the field of community development for the last two, been and admin more than a year and still finds new gaps that need attention to details. The work of providing legal aid services is still a need for the community and there for more assistance still needs to be provided though it’s not as it was before the impact is fully noticeable.
James has background in accounting and finance management. He is a co-founder and the current finance and administration manager at Stretchers youth organization in Mombasa county. With over 8 years experience in peer education, advocacy and life skills training, he is the DSW Kenya global menstrual hygiene male champion. His passion to end periods stigma and poverty among adolescent girls and young women has enabled him diversify his career, not only in finance management but also a strong and vocal reproductive health trainer and advocate hence the brand (The Period MAN).
In 2018 he led a delegation of 1200 youths from Africa, Asia and Europe to European Union Parliament and headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. This was in spirit of resource mobilization advocacy to influence financial allocations to Sustainable development goals; 3-Health and well being, 4- Quality education and 5-Gender equity. As a result 7 recommendations were drafted together with Members of European Parliament that featured in European Union political groups manifestos and draft youth policy ahead of Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027.
He led the youth advisory committee at the Mombasa county technical team that drafted and validated both the Mombasa county Adolescents and Young People strategy on SRH and HIV 2018-2023 together with its implementation framework and Family Planning Costed Implementation plan 2018-2022.
In March 2019, James won young researchers scholarship award by AMREF Health Africa to be speaker at the Africa Health Agenda International Conference (AHAIC 2019) in Kigali Rwanda. At the conference he addressed the importance of men engagement in breaking menstruation stigma among adolescent girls and young women in relation to reducing teen pregnancies and HIV/AIDS prevalence. His international advocacy work has led to procurement of 3 million menstrual cups issued to 1.5 million girls In Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania in a bid to providing long term alternative to sanitary pads inaccessibility.
During the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD25) James presented milestones made in male involvement on menstrual hygiene management to a plenary of over 2500 delegates in 4 different side events.
Currently, he is a member of Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council, Women’s March Global, Menstrual Cup Coalition and African Coalition for Menstrual Health Management accelerating MHM advocacy in Kenya.
Bevy Njeri Kinyua, 25, started out her career journey as a finance intern at Stretchers Youth Organization where it was through her day to day inter- departmental responsibilities that she developed a passion for not only pursuing a career in the non-governmental sector but also her true career path in collecting and using meaningful data to demonstrate impact and outcomes of projects.
Bevy holds a Bachelor’s degree in Finance from Kenyatta University and is also currently a CPA finalist.
She is currently the Monitoring and Evaluation Officer and project officer for KIBE project at Stretchers Youth Organization where she is responsible for coordinating monitoring, evaluation and reporting activities under the projects being undertaken by the organization.
Evans Ouma is the Programs Manager and co-founder at Stretchers Youth Organization. Evans has a background in project planning and management. He is passionate about working with adolescents and young people on matters sexual reproductive health and rights. He has over 7 years’ experience in adolescents and youth programming, adolescents reproductive health, monitoring and evaluation, peer counseling, sexual reproductive health, behavioral change and peer education approaches.
Mr. Evans Ouma has cut niche in family planning, gender mainstreaming and adolescents youth sexual reproductive health advocacy and has contributed to development of policies that affects adolescents and young people in Kenya. He has over 6 years’ experience in advocacy led initiatives both locally, national and global levels. He has represented young people in international platforms advocating for their sexual and reproductive health agenda. He is self-driven and hardworking young professional with good inter personal, organizational and analytical skills. He is one of the 25×25 She Decides global young champions representing Kenya among other 24 young leaders from over 24 different countries across the globe.
In 2018, he led a successful session in Norway to over 30 youth leaders from 30 different nationalities on how to use theatre as a tool of effective meaningful youth participation to key policy makers. He is also a Youth Centre Coordinator of Chaani Health facility and served as chairperson of National Youth Steering Committee under Y-ACT project from 2018-2020. Evans was one of the nominees for the 120 under 40 young leaders of Family Planning in 2018 under the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
In 2019, he led adolescents and young people across Kenya in collection of voices and opinions in form of commitments to be submitted during the International Conference on Population and Development in Nairobi-Kenya. In the same year, he represented Kenya as a young delegate in Egypt in development of the Youth Model for ICPD (International Conference on Population and Development) which was submitted during the ICPD Summit in Nairobi-Kenya. His efforts contributed to both the international and national commitments made formally known as Nairobi Commitments.
Mr. Evans has scooped awards, accolades and recognitions in his name for his outstanding work done in the community with young people. In 2013, he was awarded through competitive process Coast Young Leader on the field of advocacy on Human Rights and Good Governance of the Year hosted by MUHURI, in 2018, he received a scholarship from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to attend the International Conference on Family Planning in Kigali Rwanda to submit his best practices of the work he continues doing with adolescents and young people SRH advocacy, in 2018, Evans won from a very highly competitive live pitch competition a sum of 20,000Euros from AmplifyChange to implement an advocacy project with adolescents and young people SRH advocacy in Mombasa County, He is the 25×25 She Decides Generation of Change Global young leader.
Khadija Salad has over 10 months of experience in the community development sector, specifically focusing on Sexual reproductive health and Good governance. Currently, Khadija is a Project Officer for (HUSTLE YANGU HAKI YANGU) a project that aims at reducing workplace exploitation for informal workers where she focuses on increasing awareness on informal workers, strengthening unions the ability to advocate effectively for informal workers and improving coordination and relationships between unions and local administration. Khadija is currently completing her bachelors in project planning and management from the University of Nairobi (Mombasa Campus). Khadija is driven by her commitment to social justice and one day she hopes to witness a Society where every voice counts in decision making.
Edward Sakwa is the Public Relation officer of Stretchers Youth Organization with a Diploma in Social Community work, he is the current project officer of Engaging BodaBoda Youths (EBBY) project that is supported by Search for Common Ground under INUKA supporting vulnerable youth to participate in Community peace and security efforts in Coastal Kenya. Under this project He has been coordinating High level consultative meetings between Key state actors and BodaBoda youths in relation to peace creation towards preventing violent conflicts among Communities in Mombasa. Edward has over 7 years’ Experience in community work, has overseen and led young people during formulation, validation and implementation of key policies at County level among them the Mombasa County Action Plan For Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism 2017-2022(MCAP-PCVE) and its implementation plan and National youth policy at national level and Regional level that has resulted in an increase of Meaningful Youth involvement and engagement in both policy and decision making platforms. In addition, Edward was the only Kenyan under Youth Participate Exchange Program under Youth Alive Kenya to assist in developing Youth Situation analysis Report for Youths in Zimbabwe in areas of youth participation in governance while working closely with Youth Empowerment and Transformation Trust (YETT). In his spare time he enjoys taking videos and skating with his mates.
Miss Rebecca Achieng is the current liaison adolescent officer at stretchers youth organization in charge of all the adolescents programs and mentorship, she is also the project officer of KIBE project focusing on policy advocacy. .she is currently persuing her diploma in project management at The Kenya Institute of Management Mombasa campus. She is the menstrual cup champion and spearheading the issues of menstrual hygiene management among adolescents’ girls and young women. She has over three years’ experience mentorship and peer education on sexual reproductive health and rights and especially to the adolescents and young people.
In 2018, she was nominated by the county government of Mombasa to sit in the technical team of developing the Mombasa county Adolescents and young people strategy on SRH/HIV that was launched in November 2018. Since 2018, she has mentored over 1000 adolescents girls with advocacy skill through different projects implemented at stretchers youth organization.