AFRICAN KNOWLEDGE CREATION: AFRICAN RENAISSANCE UNIVERSITY
Borne out of demand from the youth of Africa and backed by a comprehensive market survey in 2013, the ARU (in-formation) aims to prepare a generation of transformed leaders for the African Renaissance. In terms of locating the university in Kenya, the ARU main campus will be at YMCA Limuru Agricultural College (YLAC) and its technical wing at Shauri Moyo, National Training Institute (NTI). Currently, NTI and YLAC offer a wide range of proficiency, certificate and diploma courses. ARU will provide an opportunity for the two institutes to scale up these initiatives to undergraduate education by creating a pathway that will connect the already existing college to the university. Students with the inclination and aptitude would further be upgraded from proficiency level of training to certificate, diploma and eventually degree certification.
As registration and accreditation is a lengthy process, students are enrolled for short courses as the ARU awaits accreditation. The courses build on the current offerings at YLAC and NTI while introducing and adding new components and aspects to prepare young people for the industry. Towards this, the AAYMCA has formed partnerships which have benefitted over 2 000 students. In addition, one of the key achievements in 2017 was to strengthen the NTI systems for effective delivery of programmes.
The Kenya ARU campus will focus more on Social Sciences, Agriculture and Engineering (specialising in Civil, Mechanical and Electrical training). The initiative towards curriculum development of the programmes achieved the following stage in 2017:
- A manual was designed and tested with youth in Kenya and Zambia;
- 60 male Gender Change Catalysts were trained in Kenya and Zambia;
- Catalysts reached almost 800 peers primarily in secondary schools, tertiary institutions of learning, and community youth;
- For workplace safety, 17 Human Resource Managers were engaged in workplace policies vis-à-vis the existing laws and standards;
- Workplace sessions engaged 75 staff as well as 25 departmental heads;
- The online campaign during Father’s Day in June reached 186 683 people;
- Kenya YMCA and Zambia YMCA have been able to establish partnerships with
- 14 local radio stations and 4 print media establishments; and
- 25 stakeholders were engaged, among them religious leaders, local political leaders, departmental heads and duty bearers.
- Increased understanding of what constitutes violence against women and the positive role men and boys can play;
- Increased knowledge of transformative masculinity through self-awareness; Increased awareness and interest in YMCA from radio presence;
- Changed perceptions and resulting behaviour by men and boys towards women and girls;
- Transforming family and communities through role modelling;
- Engagement more welcome from management in workplaces to learn about anti-sexual harassment:
- Policy development in workplaces;
- School invitations to share more on transformative masculinity to address issues in the schools; and
- Better collaboration between males and females to understand and change from masculinity sessions.