Music and Arts Program

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After Unite The People Concert 2012, we spent a significant amount of time reviewing our mission and programs. We made a decision on One Vibe’s ultimate goal, to use programs in Music & Art to inspire Kenyan youth toward a deeper appreciation of culture and tradition, and empower them to develop their creative potential. We then changed Unite The People Concert to Unite The People Festival, which is now held every three months, in Kisumu, Kenya, as part of the Music & Arts Programs.

Music & Arts Program Objectives

  • Provide a safe space for youth to share experiences, stories, and projects.
  • Give youth a platform to express themselves through music and art.
  • Teach youth to use traditional and modern musical instruments as a means of expression.
  • Give youth alternatives to drugs and violence.

Why Music & Arts?

At Unite the People Concert 2012, One Vibe’s team organized a gathering that brought together young people from Manyatta slum with musicians who had gathered for the concert. The results were inspiring to the community, the youth, and to One Vibe. Based on the success of this encounter, we decided to engage artists and professionals in Kisumu as mentors to youth from the community. We hope that music and arts activities will enhance self-expression, give youth a voice to share stories of their aspirations, and create an opportunity for them to be inspired, empowered, and mentored to allow them to pursue various creative and professional paths.

Our Instruments of Success

  • Number of youth enrolled and retention rates
  • Total instruction hours
  • Number of youth connected to mentors
  • Improved academic performance in school

The Issue

Many youth are vulnerable especially when they are not at home or in school. According to The Kenya National Authority for the Campaign Against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (NACADA), alcohol and drug abuse is highest among youth aged 15-29. Besides the introduction to cheap drugs and alcohol at a young age, they are often also exposed to risky sexual activity, gangs, and other negative influences that are common in the slums because of lack of inspiration and necessary support systems.

Some politicians target youth, as they are easy recruits for use in causing terror during political rallies. Once the political campaigns are over, youth who are left as well trained troublemakers return to Manyatta and other slums in the region. Their victims become their own people that live in a densely populated area, with about fifty thousand people per square mile. According to the City Council of Kisumu 75% of the urban population resides in tiny makeshift shacks. 52% of the working population earn $38 per month, and live without running water, electricity, or sewage systems.

These conditions coupled with lack of role models frustrate many youth. The 2012 Rapid Assessment of Drug and Substance abuse by NACADA indicated that the immediate social environment had an important role in influencing drug and substance abuse among youth. The Music & Art programs will keep youth engaged in positive activity, and create a bridge between school and home for them.

Young Generation Center, an orphanage home in Manyatta that was established in 1997 hosts One Vibe’s programs. One Vibe serves 68 youth from St. Ignatius High School, Young Generation Centre, Manyatta slum, and the Western region of Kenya. The program uses the model of One Vibe’s Youth Gathering held at Young Generation Center on October 3, 2012. At that event, eight artists from Seattle, Washington, Dar es salaam, Tanzania, Nairobi and Kisumu, Kenya shared personal stories and inspired over 150 youth.

Once youth are inspired and ready to explore their talents and careers, local artists and professionals mentor them, One Vibe empowers them by providing the space for the program activities, music instruments, instructors, and art supplies. A counselor from the community also helps One Vibe identify specific individual needs of the youth and psychological support that can be provided.

The program has various classes including Visual Art, Traditional African Music, Dance, Guitar & Vocals, Poetry, and Mentorship Workshops.

Every three months, Unite The People Festival is held at Young Generation Center to showcase the skills that students have gained in the past three months. The event is also used to engage the community in the program. Artist’s and Student’s products from the program are exhibited and sold, and performances by various groups within the program are witnessed.


We aim at making One Vibe’s Music & Art programs self-sustaining in five years. Proceeds from the sale of artwork will be split on a 50-50 basis between the student, or artist who made it, and One Vibe. The 50% that goes to the student goes toward their educational needs, the 50% that goes to artists goes to enhancing their own businesses, and the 50% that goes to One Vibe is invested in the Music & Art program. Products from the program will also be exhibited and sold in the USA at One Vibe events.

How You Can Help

Generous contribution from you allows us to inspire and engage more youth in Kenya. Please support our mission with a Gift to our Programs. You can count on our accountability and promise to ensure that 100% of your gift supports youth that need it the most. Here are other ways that you can help…Read More

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