Each year in Kenya, many youth migrate to cities like Nairobi, Kisumu, and Mombasa from rural settlements in search of “the urban dream.” Employment opportunities, electricity and better housing coupled with higher education lead them to leave their rural homes and family networks. Unfortunately, for most, the dreams they seek cannot be achieved easily. High unemployment rates, prohibitive school fees, and lack of housing thwart them.
So in order to survive, many turn to crime. Among young men, carjacking, highway robberies, breaking into homes and shops is a common crime, while young women may turn to prostitution and brewing illicit liquor. Younger adolescents and school-age children are used as shields when the police come into the informal settlements to try and apprehend criminals and illicit brews are easily transported in school bags which are least suspected.