Barret Kamunzu

Local Consultant in Kenya

Barret Kamunzu holds a degree in Political Science and Public Administration from the University of Nairobi, Kenya, and is currently finalising his M.A. in Population Studies (Demography) at the same University. His enthusiasm for finding solutions to community problems led him to the field of Research, Monitoring, and Evaluation. He has a particular passion for working with youth and has worked on a number of projects addressing youth employability and the prevention and countering of violent extremism in the informal settlements of Kenya. Additionally, he is also supporting programmes focusing on refugee inclusion, primarily in education and livelihoods, within the Dadaab Refugee Camp—the largest refugee camp in Kenya managed by UNHCR.

Working as a consultant with ICDI on the ‘From Waste to Work’ project in Kenya has given him an opportunity to interact with youth in the waste sector. The fact that the project empowers green youth-led start-ups to create meaningful employment through waste recovery and value addition, it gives him a profound sense of meaning and joy. He gets a feeling of fulfilment in playing a role in transforming the lives of youths, especially in his home country, Kenya.

As a child

As a child, Barret grew up in a rural village in coastal Kenya, finding joy in playing games with childhood friends, particularly moulding items from clay soil during rainy seasons. Alongside his friends, they had their pottery stands, and Barret vividly recalls attempting to replicate the skilful creations of his friend Mwachofi. Despite his efforts, Barret’s pieces never matched up, leading to frustration that often prompted him to crush them and start anew.

As he was growing up, Barret’s childhood dream was to become an agricultural engineer, specialising in tractor design, maintenance, and durability. Several years later, Barret is now a researcher and M&E professional. Even though he hasn’t become the tractor engineer he initially aspired to be, Barret sees himself aligned with his childhood dream. Unlike the tractor engineer role he envisioned, he now considers himself a social engineer, solving problems through research, designing projects in the development sector, and providing M&E expertise for sustainability.