To identify the elements of the Youth and Volunteering Development Program (YVD) and propose future direction.
The Youth and Volunteering Development Program manages all youth and volunteer affairs of the KRCS while encouraging and mobilizing Youths and volunteers all over the country to contribute meaningfully in the KRCS humanitarian mandate.
IFRC Strategy 2020 emphasis on building strong Red Cross Red Crescent National Societies through strong and cohesive communities. It highlights voluntary service at the heart of community-building towards development. The program forms part of the KRCS knowledge development and seek strategic, practical and innovative means to promote volunteering at community level and expand the Kenya Red Cross share of volunteering among all ages in Kenya.
Kenya Red Cross is a very strong National Society in that it has been able to consistently deliver country-wide humanitarian services through its network of volunteers within the branches. The relevance of these services to vulnerable Kenyans from all walks of life cannot be over emphasized. The program sees its role to strategically sustain these networks and keep providing these valuable services to those Kenyans who need them for as long as need is there.
The program has borrowed and considers the three IFRC action pillars for volunteer development and localized them to suit the Kenya Context. They are:-
Through legislative advocacy and action, the Red Cross contributes to creating an enabling environment for volunteering, especially by focusing on the protection of volunteers and their access to the most vulnerable. The program has a sound youth policy and a volunteering policy and volunteer guidelines and in liaison with the governance arm of the society, keeps, disseminate and implement the policies across the branch network.
The Youth & Volunteer Development program has the responsibility of coordinating all youth program activities including the National Youth Committee quarterly meetings and the annual youth Assemblies from the branches, regions and National. Subsequent to the elections of new youth leadership bodies, governance trainings will be spearheaded and undertaken through the program. The program will continuously work with International center for Humanitarian Affairs to achieve this and many more youth related curriculum development and execution.
In highlighting the outstanding contribution of tens of thousands of volunteers in tackling humanitarian and develop¬ment issues, our key message emphasizes the economic and social benefits that volunteers bring, and the gains that the National and County governments and other partners achieve when they work with our volunteers. The program will continue to implement and improve the Volunteer Award Scheme and develop other ways and means of recognizing volunteers and their work.
KRCS promotes the spirit of volunteerism and goodwill in Kenya at large.
The program will identify ways to use volunteers and youth in marketing the brand KRCS. We work closely with the PR department in marketing and communication strategies, volunteer/membership recruitment campaign material, including effective use of the social media platforms. The aim is to motivate, retain and recruit more volunteers across the country, resulting to maximizing the utilization of our potential as a National Society and increasing the share of consistent and reliable KRCS services and actions.
In looking at a strategic direction for the management of volunteers the program:
1. Develops strategies to attract more skilled quality volunteers
2. Scales-up the recruitment strategies
3. Has a keen focus on the university chapters for creativity and innovation while providing opportunities to learn and grow.
4. Continuously coordinate Coaching and Mentoring programs to help promote volunteer personal development and reinforce volunteer commitment.
5. Maintain together with the HR the volunteer insurance cover.
6. Work with the HR Department to ensure that volunteers derive the same consideration through review of all policies and procedures to determine applicability to volunteers and the possibility over time for the qualified and experienced, outstanding volunteers to be rewarded through contracts to serve in a paid capacity.
Volunteer/Membership Database - The current database was developed only as an interim measure and now requires a migration to a supported ICT environment. There is a current process to gain current data in Excel spreadsheets and discussions are commencing with ICT on introducing a Microsoft product i.e. the customer relations management (CRM).
Under the KRCS mandate, the youth are both service providers and beneficiaries that require to be developed. Youth are an investment both for today and for the future. They serve as innovators, early adopters of communication, social media, and other technologies, as well as being inter-cultural ambassadors, peer-to-peer facilitators, community mobilisers, agents of behavioral change, and advocates for vulnerable people. The engagement of Youth is important not only for the current time – but as an important feeder into our adult volunteer network and paid employment base.
The KRCS takes leadership and aligns its youth work with the IFRC Strategy 2020 and the Youth Declaration of 2009, in Solferino, the strategy is to in-cooperate the following four areas in empowering youth action: Youth voices for a stronger society, Healthy youth make a healthy world, Adapting to climate change and addressing catastrophes and Live our principles, celebrate our diversity, change our community. This will be done through the four part youth objectives which are:
1. Promotion of life and health
2. Community service
4. Promotion of national and international mutual friendship and understanding
The program works in an integrated approach with all other programs and service providing units and stakeholders.
Key Targets for Youth & Volunteer Development include and not limited to:-
1. Scaled up volunteering development in a systematic, more effective and efficient way.
2. Oversee and provide advisory to the youth program
3. Ensure adherence of the policies and constitution by management, youth & volunteers.
4. Implement working and user friendly volunteer management system and database
5. Proactive engagement of young people to innovate solu¬tions to social challenges.
6. Have an integrated program approach because youth issues are cross-cutting.