Recognizing the challenges faced by young people in finding employment opportunities after high school, Mr. Okong’o in 2011 decided to gather his fellow youths in Mombasa County in Changamwe, sub-county within Port Reitz ward and form a group while they waited for better opportunities. At that time, many
young people in Mombasa County were struggling with drug addiction. Determined to make a positive impact in their community, Mr. Okong’o and his fellow youths decided to go to schools within their community and talk to students about the harmful effects of drugs and how to prevent substance abuse.
This initiative gained support from their peers, and in November 2011, Bomu Stretchers Youth Group (BSYG) was established. BSYG started as a self-help group and registered as a self-help group in February
2012. The group had a clear mission and vision, aiming to provide support, education, and advocacy for young people in schools and the community who were dealing with drug and substance abuse issues. To engage and educate individuals, BSYG adopted a unique approach called Magnet Theater, which used
theatrical techniques to convey the consequences of drug and substance abuse.
After receiving capacity strengthening and mentorship from partner organizations, BSYG underwent a transformation in 2015 and
changed its registration status to become Stretchers Youth Organization. As a grassroots community based organization, Stretchers Youth Organization operates under three thematic areas: Health and Wellbeing,Democracy and Good Governance, and Human Rights and Gender Mainstreaming. Under the Health and Wellbeing thematic area, Stretchers Youth Organization focuses on promoting access to sexual
reproductive health and rights and mental health awareness among youths in Kenya. They continue their efforts to educate young people and the community about the dangers of substance abuse through magnet theater performances and awareness campaigns. In the Democracy and Good Governance area, the organization works towards promoting youth participation in decision-making processes and
advocating for transparency, accountability, and good governance. They aim to empower young people
to become active citizens and contribute to the development of their community. Lastly, in the Human Rights and Gender Mainstreaming thematic area, Stretchers Youth Organization strives to ensure that human rights are respected and gender equality is promoted. They work towards eliminating discrimination, promoting inclusivity, and advocating for the rights of marginalized groups, especially women and girls. Overall, Stretchers Youth Organization is dedicated towards a healthy society where every youthful voice counts.