About 42 Change Makers

Founded in 2008, 42 Change Makers (42CM) is a registered Community Based Organization in Kakamega County with a mission to equip youth from diverse cultures with tools, skills, connections, opportunities, mentorship and support for their social change ideas to address community issues and effect the change they seek for the greater good of their communities.


To mobilize and equip our youth (drawn from 42 tribes in Kenya) with right values, skills, knowledge, connections tools and support to think creatively, create jobs, impact their communities and direct their futures.

We seek to see a Kenyan society where our youth emerge as tolerant, peaceful, resourceful, confident and actively engaged community members.


Our Strategy

Guided by our focus areas discussed, our activities include conducting youth research for evidence programming, organizing community issue-based youth barazas, Film screening and debates, Sports, Theatre, music and Dance, mentorship, youth workshops and camps, cultural exchange visits, awareness raising campaigns, and vocational skills training, partnership/networking and production of issue-based education material.


Through our activities young people can express not only their pain, frustrations and challenges but also their hope and dreams for a better future. 42 Change Makers is founded on the belief that youth are todays and future asset for any community; they have first- hand experience with issues affecting them and their communities, have ideas and potential to make social change.


Therefore, the ultimate purpose of 42 Change Makers is to create a safer environment where the welfare and productivity of the youth is promoted.

Seeing youth tell their change stories because of our intervention is what we desire. We are inspired by how far the youth go to revive their own lives and that of their communities, to gain support and to become leaders of their community.

Our Values

Empower: We think like owners. Everyone in our team is empowered to make decisions that impact their lives and their community. We therefore, take ownership and are accountable for our actions. We believe that this requires sound judgment and proper planning. Mindful of sustainability, we empower and educate for growth.

Execute: We know that our work is challenging, but rewarding. We don’t put off to tomorrow what can be done today. We identify opportunities, run fast and lean. We set the pace by working smart.

Excellence: Exceed goals, assess projects and maintain excellence.

Service: We collaborate through participatory engagement to meet the needs of those we serve.

Inspire: We work to inspire through innovation. We are not scared to challenge the status quo in search of a better, smarter or faster solution for the problems facing us and our community. Through calculated risk taking and progressive thinking, our youth team up to create innovative solutions. We price learning and development and we continually challenge ourselves and motivate others.

Community building: We crave for positive impact in our community. We understand the role we all play in improving our surroundings. As such, the spirit of togetherness and teamwork is the foundation for our relationships. Together, we make a positive impact on our lives and our community.

Respect: We respect each other by working together and helping each other shine. We are all working toward the same goals and we stop and celebrate our success as one team.

Integrity: We build trust with partners through ethical and honest interaction.

Our Project Cycle

What Makes Us Unique

  • Beneficiaries and stakeholders are engaged at every stage of our project cycle
  • We apply Community Asset Based Approach in our project design and implementation. We also observe Do No Harm principles.
  • We have an expanded and strong grass-root network
  • Our policy is to work for youth and with youth and to create a democratic environment conducive for everybody’s participation.
  • We have built bridges of trust, respect and friendship and we offer advice and constant follow-up to our beneficiaries.
  • We ensure quality, unique and diversified programs.
  • Constant innovation and long-term focus is our strong point too.
  • We focus on practical application which is one of the most important training methods.
  • Monitoring, evaluation, and constant development of partnership networks, continuity and sustainability make our programs unique.
  • 42CM have a resource mobilization unit which will work to establish good links and networking with corporate partners, donors and well-wishers in Kenya and abroad.
  • We have maintained excellent relations (multi-sectoral approach) with the government entities, represented by Ministries of Education and Ministry of Youth, youth CBOS/NGOS and with the academia represented by universities and other training and education agencies.
  • We have created a pool of volunteers in our network zones

Our Story

42-CM was founded by Shaban Varajab to tackle the high rate of youth unemployment and youth dropping out of school, particularly in underprivileged rural areas of Kakamega.

We work to empower at-risk youth (in and outside school) age 15-25yrs hailing from low-income families and 42 tribes of Kenya.

To achieve our mission, we partner with school administrations, village elders/chiefs, nonprofit organizations, video/cinema stores, churches, university student volunteers and private businesses to create special community service events, educational film-screening sessions and debates, plays, workshops and activities such as workplace visits, talk shows that keep students engaged and prepare them for future careers, business mindset and social responsibility.

We are also mindful of the fact that many youths in the areas where work are likely or in no position to go to university/community college and will enter the job market early (with limited skills and experience).

Why youth in rural Kakamega matter to us

Like other parts of Kenya, youth in Kakamega County continue to bear the heaviest social, economic and political burden, play a minimal role as far as decision making processes and development issues are concerned. Over 55% of these youths face these challenges because of limited access to resources, healthcare, education, training, recreation, empowerment, employment and economic opportunities. This is worse in rural areas where most youth are excluded from opportunities and the world. Youth in Kakamega form part of a vast resource but are often treated as a constituency that needs to be managed, instead of engaged and supported to play an influential role in their communities.


National Level:

  • Total National Population 38.6M (2009 Census). Currently 45M.
  • Total Youth Population 78% of National Population

Kakamega County

  • Total County Population: 1,659,579 (2009 Census). Expected to increase to 2,658,577 (2030) and 3.5M (2050)
  • 7% of County Population are young people below 15yrs.
  • Education: Primary net enrolment is 96% and Secondary net enrolment is 52.1% (This means half are out of school, i.e 86, 959 Secondary school age are out of school). In addition, the difference between Primary and Secondary School net enrolment shows low transition rate to secondary school. This is an indicator that many dropout at primary school level) which poses a great risk to the society’s economic, social and political progress.

Reference: Check this report for more details Kakamega National Survey data

42 Change Makers recognize that with empowerment, young people in all corners (rural and urban) are a major resource for development and positive social change and that their ideals, energy and vision are essential for the continuing development of their societies and lives.

With guidance young people are dedicated, enthusiastic and creative to contribute to development by addressing society’s most challenging issues.