The Kenya Institute of Management last week launched a youth entrepreneurship and scholarship programme in partnership with Real People, the credit only microfinance institution. The scholarship targets the vulnerable from children homes and has been duded the ‘Guardian Scholarship Programme’.
The scholarship will target children enrolled at various children’s houses. The ultimate goal will be the provision of diploma courses which will increase access to education especially to children who have finished high school and who then are usually expelled from children’s homes.
According to UNICEF statistics, more than half of newly released orphans after the age of 18 years are recruited to a life of crime or prostitution or life in the streets while 30 per cent become addicted to alcohol and other drugs during their first year of living independently exposing them to risks of STI’s and AIDS epidemic coupled with early pregnancies.
UNICEF reports further cites that many of these children move in with relatives after the deaths of their parents, are often put to work, denied the opportunity to attend school, and suffer physical abuse. Many run away or are forced out of the house. These children turn to the street or an orphanage for refuge.
The program is open to all children homes in the country. Real People East Africa has so far made a commitment of Ksh. 5 million. The program will start with 33 orphaned children who will be enrolled at KIM for a diploma in Management.
Daniel Ohonde, Chief Executive Officer, Real People East Africa, “The programme is open for all children homes in the country and will have periodic intakes level so as to enable all children have better access to education so as to improve their economic livelihoods.”