23 Year Old Stessy Nyaga is a Kenyan Making a Big Impact in Britain

Twenty-three-year-old Kenyan-born Londoner Stessy Nyaga is a young woman on a mission — to positively engage the energy and drive of her young compatriots in Britain. Together with like-minded Kenyans, she has established Diaspora Youth Empowerment (Dye), a charitable organisation engaging the youth in the Diaspora.

Culture plays a big part in the lives of Britain’s young Kenyans. [PHOTOS: SHAMLAL PURI AND COURTESY/STANDARD]

“I cannot express the level of joy it has bought me to be able to work with the youth of the Diaspora and launch Diaspora Youth Empowerment with co-founder George Mbugua,” says Stessy, an undergraduate at the University of East London.

She is also Dye’s president, chief executive and director its trustees.

“We recognise the achievements of young people through working closely with the diverse diaspora community. We harness and develop their potential through the Diaspora Youth Empowerment Network and help to create positive global citizens who are innovative, culturally intelligent and active members of society.

“Despite living abroad, we are determined to continue the development of Kenya.”

Dye is open to young people between the ages of 16 and 35, and who have an interest in sustainable development.

“We collaborate with individuals, small groups, and local, national and international organisations to deliver the highest level of services,” Stessy says.

One of the organisation’s recent assignments was working with the Kenyan High Commission for the first Kenya@50 Student Conference at the University of Coventry in the Midlands in February. Dye provided expert volunteers in entertainment, graphic design and photography, among other fields, and publicised the event.

The organisation also works directly with young Kenyans in the diaspora.

“Our free services range from business consultancy to video shoot production. We have skilled members in a wide range of activities and professions.”

All the group’s officials are Kenyan, and they share the same passion for youth and innovation.

George Mbugua, the co-founder and vice president, currently studying film and media production, wants to create an opportunity for Kenyans to achieve their dreams.

Heart for the City became official trustees of Dye after chief executive Lukas Njenga interacted with members of the youth organisation. Dr Reverend Lukas, a Kenyan who has lived in Britain for more than 20 years, believes in investing in young people and transforming the lives of others.

Both Heart of the City and Dye will be at the Diaspora Global Village during this year’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow from July 23 to August 3.

Egerton University graduate Alice Nyaga Githaiga is the team’s board mentor and treasurer. She has lived in the UK since 1992.

“Alice got involved in this group because she comes from a generation that tends to view the youth as a problem or subjects needing help, rather than capable and empowered individuals,” says Stessy.

Alice feels it is important to support the youth and tap their energy so that their work is noted by peer groups and the media, where they generate negative vibes. Her future goal is to create opportunities where young people who have been in trouble with the law can be offered a second chance through support groups.

Kenyan-born Caroline Charles, a bio-medical graduate, is the company secretary. She went to UK at a young age for further studies.

Deputy secretary Bernerd Kamau, a student at Greenwich University, has been in UK for more than ten years. He believes in an ordinary act of love in the courage of unity that will drive people to stand up for another.

Stessy stresses that with the developments happening through Kenya Vision 2030, the youth have an opportunity to make a creative difference in their country and create a united voice.

“Living in the diaspora creates opportunity and exposure for our young adults; it can also be a confusing experience due to the contradictions of culture and variety of societies within the UK,” she adds.

“We have seen a rise in Kenyan youth committing crime and suicide abroad. Many young people yearn for an identity, but they lack guidance on how to represent and contribute to their country positively. We hope to help fill that gap.”

– Standard Media