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What problem does the idea help to solve and how does your solution work? (2,000 characters maximum)

This project aims at empowering youths through art and media training. This is in an effort to encourage the youths to produce creative output through new media and the use of available digital platforms to make their stories and creativity visible globally. We purpose to encourage youths to be entrepreneurs. The skills they acquire during our workshops can be applied not only in the camp but also int the various environment that they will settle in their present and future neighborhoods.

Geography of focus (500 characters)

Our idea targets the northwestern part of Kenya, Turkana County. It is the site of a UNHCR refugee camp, established in 1992. The population of Kakuma town was 60,000 in 2014, having grown from around 8,000 in 1990 and most of the population comprises of the youth.

Building Bridges: What bridge does your idea build between people on the move and neighbors towards a shared future of stability and promise? (500 characters)

This is a project by youths for youths: USANII LAB has previously been at the Kakuma refugee camp three times. We used the platform to create a successful working and sharing relationship with the youths and organizations within the region. In the sharing spirit, we as USANII LAB purpose to share our skills with youth from different communities and learn from their stories and experiences.

What human need is your idea solving for? (1,000 characters)

The youth will get a chance to learn and practice their skills learned in photography, film making, design, and poetry among others. this is a huge relief to the community with unemployment among the youth in Kakuma being high as they will use the skills acquired to earn an honest income

What will be different within the community of focus as a result of implementing your idea? (1,000 characters)

The living situation in the refugee camp introduces dependency and in the long term suppresses self-determination by eliminating choice. We aim to counter this development by enabling creativity. Different workshops will be held in the field of basic ICT skills, photography, film, design, arts, and music. The creatives conducting workshops in the Kakuma refugee camp will be from Usanii Lab, artists from Kenya and international artists. The workshop's output will be exhibited in a festival in the Kakuma refugee camp, in Nairobi and online. This will give the participants a chance to showcase and tell their stories among themselves and globally at large.

What is the inspiration behind your idea? (1,000 characters)

Previously as USANII LAB, we have had the chance to visit the Kakuma refugee camp three times. The first trip involved two participants who facilitated workshops in photography and film production for two weeks.The project was successful and the participants formed a media group called THE VOICES OF KAKUMA. The second trip which involved five facilitators from USANII LAB did the addition of weaving, painting, and poetry.The third and recent trip involved two members who attended an event "KAKUMA GOT TALENT" while doing a follow up on our previous workshop participants and looking for organizations that we could partner within the region.From the trips we discovered the youths had distinct stories to share but lacked a platform to develop and create a conversation from their stories.As USANII LAB We aim to not only inspire them and equip them with the necessary skills but showing that communication design is a viable career path and that creative thinking may be used in any daily task.

Describe the dynamics of the community in which the idea is to be implemented. (1,000 characters)

The camp is situated in a remote, hot and dry place with very harsh living conditions and limited opportunities.

How does your idea leverage and empower community strengths and assets to help create an environment for success? (1,000 characters)

What other partners or stakeholders will work alongside you in implementing the idea, if any? (1,000 characters)

We hope to work with The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), The Lutheran World Federation (LWF), and Voices Of Kakuma (VOK).

What part of the displacement journey is your solution addressing

  • Arriving and settling at a destination community

Tell us how you'd describe the type of innovation you are proposing

  • Platform: Creating a community or market that facilitates interaction between users and resources

Idea Proposal Stage

  • Full Scale Roll Out: We have already tested and scaled this idea significantly with the intended user base (i.e. when innovation has reached 84% or above of the target population or above 1,000,000 users).

Group or Organization Name


Tell us more about your group or organization [or lived experience as a displaced person?] (1000 characters)

Usanii Lab was started in 2013 when a group of 20 young people from the Eastland of Nairobi decided to come together as an organized unit with the aim of putting together their creative and artistic skills for their collective growth and their community’s development as well. With previous knowledge in photography and design, the members decided to put their skills to a common goal which lead to the birth of a print magazine titled Zoom Magazine which was printed, distributed and well accepted by the larger Nairobi youths. Usanii Lab stands out because of its belief in young people as the change society needs. In the same context, we use art positively as an income-generating platform and as a tool to tell our stories as we forward the change we want to be seen. We have managed to conduct several workshops here in Nairobi and two in Kakuma which were facilitated by the graduates of the first team.

Website URL:

Type of submitter

  • Other

Organization Headquarters: Country


Organization Headquarters: City / State

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Team (13)

Viola's profile
Viola Kup

Role added on team:

"Founder Usanii Lab Communication Designer"

Carlos's profile
Carlos Okumu

Role added on team:

"Chief Communication Designer at Usanii Lab and Zoom Mgazine. Cinematographer, and freelance journalist."

Michael's profile
Michael Maina

Role added on team:

"Assistant Chairperson Usanii Lab Communication Designer"

Vincent's profile
Francis's profile
Francis kathae

Role added on team:

"Cinematographer and photographer. Usanii lab member."

Tracey's profile
Tracey Owegi

Role added on team:

"Social activist, Blogger, and Photographer."

Ruth's profile
Ruth Wanjiru

Role added on team:

"Chairperson Usanii lab. Chief Editor Usanii Lab Photographer, Film Maker."

Nicholas's profile
Nicholas Kimeu

Role added on team:

"Writer, photographer, and filmmaker. Editor at Usanii Lab and zoom magazine."

Brian's profile
Brian Otieno

Role added on team:

"Nude photographer"

wambui's profile
wambui lucy

Role added on team:

"Filmmaker and photographer."

marvin's profile
marvin nderitu

Role added on team:

"Digital artist!"

Bryån's profile
Bryån Ruiz

Role added on team:

"UI designer and Front End Developer. Graphic designer at Usanii Lab and Zoom magazine."

Usanii's profile
Usanii Lab

Role added on team:



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Photo of Viola Kup

more info about USANII LAB and some more pics here:

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