Na Kazi

The Talanta na Kazi Project was funded by the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi and was designed to use the arts as a vehicle to promote social change and economic empowerment among vulnerable youth in the coastal region: particularly Mombasa and Kilifi Counties respectively; to make a widespread positive impact and to do so sustainably using the arts, key training, mentorship as well as community service and volunteerism.

More specifically, the project was designed to build the professional capacity of the participants, develop their skills with the goal of gainful employment in their respective fields, and teach them how to be leaders and agents of social change in their communities.


The ultimate goal of the program was to empower the participating youth so that they become eligible for real jobs so that their lives are transformed, creating an ongoing positive cycle that results in other generations’ enhanced lives and discourages them from falling into destructive or otherwise negative behavior and extremism.

The project ended in 2021 and ended in 2021, and 200+ participants graduated from the program, with the promise of empowerment, beyond skills, but also jobs in various capacities. At its closure, four grant awards were given to deserving participants. The grants were awarded according to the business proposals that the participants wrote and pitched.

Some of the grant awardees include Rael Mose, who started her online boutique shop with the money, Teddy Odhiambo, who set up a theater company, and Ali Noor from Mazingira Youth Center, where they got funds for a toilet within their venue.

The project was hailed by the county governments of Mombasa and Kilifi, while the officials acknowledged the project as a great intervention, given the dire need for youth empowerment and specific projects that cater to the needs of the youth in the Coastal Region.

Sarakasi Trust MD. Marion Op het Veld and Mombasa Youth Director Mr. Charles Ayako.

Speaking at the graduation ceremony, Managing Director at Sarakasi Trust, Marion Op Het Veld highlighted that the project would go a long way in ensuring that young people had been granted the tools necessary for economic empowerment, securing jobs, promoting social entrepreneurship,  connecting them with mentors and trainers as well as empowering them with knowledge through relevant business and marketing training.

The project achieved its objectives, as it was designed to make a wide spread positive impact among youth, both male and female, in the vulnerable region of the coast of Kenya and will do so by sustainably using the arts, key trainings, mentorship as well as community service and volunteerism.


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Other Projects

Over the years Sarakasi has implemented many projects. Most projects come and go with available funding or even trends and needs.

Smiles for Change

Smiles for Change, formerly known as the Sarakasi Trust Hospital Project started in 2006 as an educative artistic intervention.

Social Entrepreneurship

The organization not only stands for training and capacity building (and related programs and activities) in the performing arts.

Training & Capacity Building

From its inception (2001), Sarakasi has built a solid platform for developing East Africa’s natural performing talents into a world-class school for the performing arts.

International Exchanges

Sarakasi identifies festivals, performance schools and programs/contracts throughout the world and partners/networks with them to improve performance skills.

Audience Building

In order to create platforms for Sarakasi’s performing artists, projects and other stakeholders and to reach out to a diverse audience, Sarakasi initiated its audience-building program in 2003 by starting to organize small and big scale creative productions and events.