What We Do
Kenya

From a Gang Member to a Leader of Social Change

Accept International works to reintegrate the gang members that have previously been neglected by society in the context of their young age. We work to lower the likelihood of these youth turning into terrorists by preventing further extremism and radicalisation.

Kenya is one of the world’s largest host country for refugees. As of 2019, as many as 474,000 refugees have been accommodated in refugee camps, the largest camps being Dadaab and Kakuma. Somali refugees account for approximately half the total number of refugees, with 257,000 registered. In recent years, the Somali Islamic extremist organization Al-Shabaab has been carrying out terrorist activities in Kenya, causing a great number of casualties. This has taken resulted in restrains from the Kenyan government to further accept Somali refugees.

In the capital city of Nairobi, there is a district where Somali refugees account for more than 90% of its population. With a rising crime rate of theft, drug deal, and murders, this Eastleigh district is said to be a breeding ground and a hotbed for sympathisers of the members of Al-Shabaab. Most of these crimes are committed by a group of youth aged 15 to 29, known as the Somali Gang. They get involved in such criminal activities for various reasons. This raises concerns that such youth will be recruited by extremist organizations such as Al-Shabaab and participate in terrorist activities within and around Somalia. As a result, they are feared by other members of the community and are met with intensified crackdowns by the Kenyan government and the local police including deportation to Somalia. Although appropriate care programs for gang members have been a critical necessity, there have been very few organizations that specialize in them. This is why we have been providing them with rehabilitation/reintegration programs since 2013.

Our Activities in Kenya

The De-radicalization and Active Reintegration Project

Although Somali gang members are often being looked down as “criminals” from the society, many of them are aged 15-29 and with their future potential in mind, we see them as “Leaders That Shape the Future”. Putting an emphasis on development of their full potential, Accept International accepts gang members as a member of society rather than excluding them as criminals, supporting them through the “De-radicalisation and Active Reintegration Program.” We focus on their identity of the youth in helping them make a positive difference in the society. Since the launch of our project in the summer of 2013, we have accepted more than 160 gang members, de-radicalized them, and completed the dismantling of one extremist organization.

We offer more than 3 terms (each term lasts half a year) for each gang member and work with a bigger emphasis on the quality rather than quantity. The program is made up of the following 5 contents and each content is offered depending on the stages of the participant.

  • ・1 month of mindset reformation program (lecture and discussion, social contribution activities, leadership session and graduation ceremony)
    ・5 months: Drug rehabilitation program, counselling, skill training and employment assistance

Through our project, we aim to create a distance between the Somali gangs and the violent and illegal activities they have been engaged in and simultaneously develop their full potential in forming the right attitude to become those that “Shape the future society” whereby solving issues in the society or within themselves.

Let go off your prejudice and listen to us.
This is our only wish to society.

- Ex Somali Gang Member

Your power is needed for stopping terrorism
and terminating a conflict.