Leading and Mentoring Youth in Kenya

James Mureithi is a 2023 Impact Scholarship recipient and current IIRP Graduate Student. He began his work as a minister and social entrepreneur in Kenya mentoring youth in leadership skills. He founded Youth Promise Centre Kenya, a youth center focused on mentoring teens in digital literacy, life skills, entrepreneurship, and faith development.

Q: What brought you to the IIRP?

A: It was a friend who came to Kenya and loved what I did in Kenya who introduced me to the IIRP. I attended a four-day Basic Restorative Practices workshop, and I loved it. The rest is history. I learned that I could do more through graduate school and that is how I got here. I am enjoying the lectures and interactions with students and professors.

Q: What is your professional work now, and what makes you passionate about it?

A: My professional work has been around youth groups and mentoring them in leadership skills. Having met diverse local and international people during my childhood, student life, and work life, I have learned how to be restorative in relationships. I can now share an opportunity with the groups I work with to be more restorative in their relationships with one another. Every year, we receive more than 300 teenagers at Youth Promise Centre Kenya who arrive through different cohorts. They go through our program for at least two months. I am proudly using restorative circles during my leadership mentoring classes. I plan to engage in more restorative practices during youth and congregational meetings in the church where I minister.

I am passionate about using a different approach to relating with humankind and enhancing relationships in my community. I have enjoyed wonderful lectures from professors and interactions with other students and would encourage anyone interested in restorative practices at the IIRP to enroll now.

Q: What would you like to see in your professional work in the future? What are your plans for using your degree/certificate?

A: I have a few things I would love to see in my work. One is applying my knowledge and skills to managing relationships at work and within the community. I am looking forward to being in a position to practice and influence change within the community, especially for young people. Secondly, I look forward to having more opportunities to give back to society in a more restorative manner while mentoring more youth every year. In addition, I am spending the next 5-to-10 years in development work for a community youth learning center where restorative practices will be integrated into the organization.

In the future, I hope to start a certificate course in restorative practices within our mentoring program. I am hoping to pioneer restorative practices in our learning campus once it is more established. I look forward to many young people receiving life-skills mentoring and having opportunities to attend digital learning programs. Introducing certificates at the center will help provide a better learning environment for our youth and the community as a whole.

I have been privileged to be a recipient of the Impact Scholarship. I consider it a good opportunity to learn more about restoring relationships in the community. I cannot wait for my next course to begin.

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