A teens-focused initiative that aims to raise a generation of young people, who are alive to the challenges affecting their communities and are eager to create sustainable solutions. Through our work, we engage teens in learning and addressing some of these social challenges, thereby planting the seed of change-making in them. We believe young people are important agents of change, whose potential must be tapped now.
Tap Africa briefing
In 2015 Teen Action Program was started in Mathare’s M. C. O Mixed Secondary School. With support from World Youth Alliance, Africa, Gladys and her friends organized 200 teens in focus-group- discussions to identify and deliberate on pressing social issues affecting them and their communities, which given an opportunity they could organize themselves to address. The Teens selected five key issues; Lack of Sanitary Pads for girls at M.C.O mixed secondary school, Lack of Toilets in the slum, Career choice guidance, Higher Education opportunities awareness, and Inspiration & Motivation to overcome the tough daily challenges in the informal settlement of Mathare.
Various meetings were held to research and discuss these issues. Then, teens brainstormed creative ways to address these challenges. It was very inspiring to see young people, teens, who are mostly ignored in decision-making in our African societies, taking charge and doing something, albeit small, to address some of these issues. Imagine, young girls and boys, working and walking together, knocking on doors of well-wishers to raise hundreds of sanitary pads and donate to their fellow sisters in school!
This was definitely a confirmation that, indeed, young people were aware of various social issues, and could coordinate and organize themselves to address them, in their own little ways. With proper capacity development, engagement, and mentorship, they could even do better. We badly wanted to give the power to young people. We wanted to plant the seed of social change-making in as many as possible, and watch it sprout. A platform to identify & dissect pressing social issues affecting young people, gain knowledge & skills to address the issues, and receive mentoring & facilitation to implement solutions, was BORN!
By 2016, Teen Action Program had attracted a great team, who decided to transform the program into a fully-fledged initiative, with various programs: Teens in Action Program, Life-Skills Training Program, and Career Choice Guidance & Mentorship Program. And then, TAP Africa was re-born, with a goal to “tap” the potential of young people (13-19yrs) in Africa, by giving them an opportunity to lead positive change in their communities.