RAPHAEL OKUMU, 2010 iLEAP Fellow, KENYA
Tears Group Kenya
Raphael is a founder of Tears Group Kenya, a community and youth based organization consisting of artists using their creative arts talents to empower and create awareness among the youth in Kenya. Tears stands for “Theatre for Enhancement and Acceleration of Researched Solutions” and symbolizes the struggles by Kenyan youth for development. Established in 1998 by nine individuals, including Raphael, Tears Group Kenya began as a means to empower and enhance creativity among at-risk youth. The organization has been involved in creative performances in schools, communities and workplaces promoting reproductive health and civic engagement. Recently, Tears established a development and empowerment village on self-reliance and life-skills for Kenyan youth. Raphael has orchestrated many projects, some involving over 500 students, in the areas of environmental conservation, ecology, citizenship, and the performing arts. Raphael has fundraised and managed different youth projects funded by development partners like USAID, Global Fund, CDC, World Bank, Hewlett-Packard, and the United Nations.