Recognizing the impact Africa Directions was having in their constituency through school and community outreaches, the civic leaders of Chilenje, led by the area Member of Parliament, asked AD to replicate the work they were doing to bring about the positive development of youth in Mtendere within their own community. Concerned at the incidence of HIV, they felt more needed to be done to sensitize youth and the general populous.
Chilenje is a peri-urban township with slightly higher levels of education and income per household than Mtendere. While this means families are able to meet basic needs, on the flip side this disposable income also leads to more alcohol and drug abuse. Places that were formally open for youth to play have been converted to bars and taverns attracting youth with their loud music, TVs, and games.
In 2004, with the help of Norwegian Church AID and UNICEF, the first expansion of AD took place, beginning with rehabilitation of the then dilapidated Chilenje community hall, into “Pamo youth centre.” Since then, KNH has been sponsoring all youth programs at the center
The center in Chilenje is very popular with both in and out of school youth. In addition to all the activities operating in Mtendere, the Chilenje centre has a unique boys club where young men meet to discuss issues affecting them, ranging from relationships to alcohol and drug abuse and other social issues. As evidenced from the inception of the center, the Chilenje community is very involved and invested in AD. They have a community action group comprising of Marketers, the police, school teachers, community and religious leaders as well as parents who help in addressing some of the social issues affecting young people and developing appropriate responses. Most recently, AD has opened a carwash on site as a means of employing young people and sustaining some of the activities at the center.
Schedule of Activities:
Girls Group: Wednesdays at 14hrs
Boys “Pansaka” Club: Wednesdays at 14 hrs
Peer Education Sessions: Tuesdays & Thursdays at 14hrs
Drama Rehearsals: Monday & Friday at 14hrs
Young Learners: Monday, Tuesday, & Thursday 9:30 hrs
Karate: Monday, Tuesday & Thursday at 14hrs
Basketball: everyday 15hrs