CMD Kenya acknowledges that young people are a fundamental part of national dialogue and regional integration and that it is vital to amplify their opinions and give them a platform to voice their thoughts. Based on this premise, PDF 2023 seeks to actively engage the students in attendance with content delivered in an easily comprehensible manner. To achieve this, and informed by a human-centred design approach, the youth village dubbed #NiSisiNiSasa provides avenues for the students to be meaningfully engaged in ways that enable them not just to be part of the population affected by policies, but give their input into the formulation of these policies. The activities within this village, have thus been deliberately handpicked to ensure that the village, thought of by the youth, whose main participants are the youth, can meaningfully and valuably impact the participants.
As its name suggests, this space is where the ideas and thoughts of the students (Ni Sisi) are given full focus and attention, and their opinions and worldviews are shaped in a way that enables them to contribute meaningfully and holistically to the democratic processes; where the youth are reminded that they are no longer the leaders of tomorrow – they are the leaders of today (Ni Sasa); it thus takes their active participation now to contribute to progressive democratic change. The activities and sessions are thus strongly anchored in the second principle of the United Nations Universal Values to leave no one behind – a central and transformative promise of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals; after all, there is nothing about the youth without the youth.
Underpinned by the overarching PDF 2023 theme ‘Competition, Collaboration and Constructive Politics’, the village’s slogan Nihil de Nobis, sine Nobis (nothing about us without us), and the clarion call as encompassed in the Village’s name – #NiSisiNiSasa, the formation of programs in this village is anchored purely on a human-centered design process that seeks to foster interactive communication and tap into the wisdom and perspectives of the students. This approach allows them to engage in ways that resonate with them and make them feel considered, heard, and included, not just seen. It also places the students at the center of the sessions by allowing them to take lead on the sessions in a guided manner.
The sessions aim to actively engage the students in rigorous, informed thought processes to enable them to discover, understand and manage the tensions and paradoxes within the systemic, value-laden issues. The formats seek to provide opportunities for students to work through the inherent tensions, trade-offs, and paradoxes of global issues through data-driven empirical research, professional session design, and facilitation. The students will be provided with the platform to engage in inclusive, respectful, and reasoned exposure and consideration of information, views, experiences, and ideas in safe spaces to promote authentic discussions.