Success Stories


GNRC Kenya

Transforming communities: Child gangs in Mombasa, Kenya
“In my community, there are about ten known gangs that have recruited children and youth for criminal activities. Children are attracted to gangs because of different factors within their environment. Through the GNRC, I have learnt a lot. I now recognize the challenges faced by children in society and support them without judging or condemning them. Faith leaders should connect with their communities and educate them on the importance of maintaining spiritual resilience to overcome these challenges. GNRC has impacted the community and families here greatly. Community leaders always look forward to the children’s forums where each child feels loved and cared for.”
– Rev. Maria Kipruto, Secretary, GNRC Kenya

My activism to prevent children from joining criminal gangs
“I was a member of a criminal gang. After participating in GNRC programs, I came to my senses and chose to leave the gangs and reform. I am now a champion for children. I speak out on how to end violent extremism in the community and at schools. I visit churches and go to where the gangs hang out (“maskans”) and talk to them in a friendly way. I encourage them to leave and change. GNRC took me to Radio Salaam, a local radio station, to speak out on behalf of other children and to educate the community about the experience of being radicalized as a child, and the importance of parents in taking responsibility in guiding their children. I say NO to child violence in Nyali, and the entire Kenya.”
– Female GNRC Youth, Mombasa, Kenya

My time as a criminal gang member in Mombasa, Kenya
“I joined a violent extremist group in 2020, lured by my friends because I was idle and hungry. They administered an oath of secrecy and tattooed me to show I belonged to that group. In the ghetto, they had youth and teenagers. We were introduced to drugs and trained to be violent and to use machetes. I joined this gang because of poverty, absentee parents, and a need to identify with men because my mother is a single parent. It is also fashionable to be in a gang group. When I was invited to the GNRC Children’s Forum, I learnt about violent extremism, how radicalization happens, and early warning signs. Through love, encouragement, guidance, and talking with other children, I am overcoming this challenge. I have begun withdrawing from the group slowly though it is not easy, as they keep asking for me since I am a young recruit. Much appreciation goes to the GNRC, Rev. Maria, and the teachers who have always given me an opportunity to express myself without fear, and also because they keep checking up on me at school.”
– Male GNRC youth, Mombasa, Kenya

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