Nairobi, May 4, 2017 - On the doorstep of the 26th Session of UN-Habitat’s Governing Council, youth came together with experts from around the world to improve on public spaces and informal settlements.

Participating in the Urban Thinkers Campus held in Nairobi, Kenya from May 3-4 2017, 16 global experts and youth from the Mathare One Stop, based in Mlango Kubwa , an informal settlement in the Mathare Slum of Nairobi Kenya, came together to create a sustainability plan for the Mathare Environmental One Stop Youth Resource Centre and Slum Soccer pitch.

Inaugurated by the UN Secretary-General during International Women’s Day 2017, these public spaces are seen as critical to the health and well being of young men and women and the community at large.

“We have worked for over a decade securing these public spaces for the community, protecting them from land grabbers and developers,” said Isaac Musaa, coordinator of the Mathare One Stop, “The Centre plays a critical role in the community, hosting an Innovate Kenya training Centre which trains youth in ICT and entrepreneurship, while the Slum Soccer pitch both hosts sports as well as acts as a safe place for children, young women and men to play and keep active.

“This is the only public space in Mlango Kubwa ,  a community of 50,000, where most young people have only narrow streets and indoors to play.”

During the Urban Thinkers Campus youth from the Mathare One Stop worked with the global experts from the Urban Thinkers Campus in  a “living lab” where they explored how spaces could be sustainably managed and advanced. There were five key findings from the lab:

#1 Expand programmes which build youth capacity in entrepreneurship skills and other income generating activities

#2 Develop a mentorship system where former members from Mathare One Stop can mentor youth within the centre

#3 Create long term partnership to create jobs sustainability and enable long term maintenance planning for the Centre and Slum Soccer Pitch

#4 Create a network of play and exercise facilitiate for young men and women and children

The Mathare One Stop and its programming will be profiled along with other One Stops centres in Mogadishu, Somalia; Kigali, Rwanda; Kampala, Uganda and Nairobi, Kenya at the 26th Session of the Governing Council. In addition to these Centres, youth will be profiled in the following events:

Please view the Side Event page for a full list of other events.

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