During this season, when schools have closed and students who did exams are awaiting their results or those who may not have been able to sit their exams due various reasons, many will spend the day outside playing either football, basketball or other sports in the estate or in institutions that have sporting facilities. Quite a number are normally left stranded after sitting for their KCPE or KCSE and having not attained grades that will allow them to proceed further with their education to secondary or college. Some of them are lucky enough to go to polytechnics which train them in various artisan skills. However, a big number have landed in jobs at ‘mjengos’ where they start off at the bottom carrying stones and sand slowly picking skills up as they go along. However, despite knowing the skills of the trade, without proper certification they cannot apply for jobs advertised seeking for artisans in construction companies.
A year ago, a program called Sports for Kenyan Youth Employment (SKYE) was launched in Kenya. This program is a sport led initiative funded by Barclays Bank which partnered with the international Youth Foundation (IYF) to implement this project. This is part of a global initiative called “Spaces for sport’ which reaches out to the youth using sports. Over 8000 youth had benefited from this program worldwide and in Kenya they aimed to reach over 3000 youth in Eastlands areas of Mathare, Huruma, Dandora and Githurai. They were to get training in vocational skills in the construction industry. They were also to be trained in financial literacy and life skills as well.
Apart from IYF, the bank managed to partner with other organizations such as the Mathare Youth Sport Club (MYSA) where the youth normally gather to play different sports, Arc Skills which is a vocational training centre and the youth are certified by the governing body TVETA. The youth train at construction sites and these are offered by the HF foundation. Huduma Centre, especially the one in Makadara, has been of great help to these youth by providing services for those without work documents to register for KRA Pin, NSSF, NHIF and Certificate of Good conduct among others.
Last Friday, at MYSA headquarters in Komarock, the program revealed 500 graduates to the world at a colourful ceremony where those who trained as artisans were granted certificates in masonry, plumbing & electrical wiring. Their certification will apply both in the national and international arena. Already a number of oganizations have offered placements for the artisans such as Nairobi Water Kenya Power and China Road and Bridge Company (CRBC) which has been working on the SGR project taking a big number of these youth.
Apart from the 500 who got certification for artisan skills, the SKYE program also impacted another 2600 youth who received financial skills training using ReadytoWork curriculum gives them work, entrepreneurship and money skills.
The project by Barclays Bank is impacting the society by creating employment through the equipping the youth with skills and also getting them placements with potential employers so that they are be able to improve their livelihoods. As they say, they are dedicated to making Africa prosper and giving the youth who are a majority of the population a means to better themselves is a sure way to set it on the way to prosperity.