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Wajir youth to benefit from free self-defence, fitness classes

North Eastern
 Wajir youth to benefit from free taekwondo, self-defence and fitness classes. [Mohamed Saman, Standard]

With unemployment, drug abuse, obesity and violent extremism on the rise in Kenya and North Eastern in particular, one man is offering the youth an alternative that will keep them occupied and fit.

Saboom Abdi Bashir, a taekwondo and fitness coach is offering fitness classes that teaches self-defense skills and helps improve fitness, flexibility, and discipline.

"Wajir County is among the counties that face radicalisation and violent extremism as more and more youths have been joining terror groups, " Bashir says.

"I have decided to help the community with my taekwondo skills which will keep the youngsters busy so that they don't get time to think of other bad things," he says.

Through the classes, the youth are also improving their mental focus and self-confidence while getting relief from stress.

 Wajir youth during a training session. [Mohamed Saman, Standard]

Just like deadly lifestyle diseases like diabetes, obesity, and high blood pressure, drug use and abuse is rampant in this region.

Bashir says that exercise can help combat drug abuse by releasing endorphins, which are natural mood boosters. It also helps reduce stress and provides a healthy coping mechanism.

Additionally, exercise can improve self-esteem and provide a sense of accomplishment, which can be beneficial in overcoming addiction.

"Self-defense classes are important because they teach valuable skills to protect oneself and boost confidence. They can help in dangerous situations and promote personal safety." Said Khalito, one of the members attending the taekwondo classes.

Self-defense classes can empower individuals, particularly women, by teaching them techniques to protect themselves and increase their confidence. This can potentially deter perpetrators and reduce instances of gender-based violence.

However, it's important to remember that addressing the root causes of such violence is crucial for long-term change.

Rape and gender-based violence is also a menace in this region and such self-defense lessons can help combat such.

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