2011 has ended with good news for our Seed of Hope centres in Kitui and Kisii. They have been advised that with just a few modifications they can become registered D.I.T (Directorate of Industrial Training) test centres. Currently, Seed of Hope students sit their Grade 2 and Grade 3 dressmaking exams at external test centres. It is hoped that from 2012 they and students from other training centres will pay to sit their exams at Seed of Hope. As well as reducing transport costs for our students, this will also generate income which can help with Seed of Hope’s running costs.
Due to increased exam fees and the very high cost of living many students’ families have been unable to afford the DIT exams this year. However, two of our centres received funding from local authorities which enabled their students to sit their DIT exams. These qualifications, in addition to the Seed of Hope certificates received upon graduation will assist students who wish to seek employment as dressmakers in the future. It will also help with the credibility of the small businesses they start up.
As well as receiving funds to help with exam costs, our Seed of Hope centre in Kitui also received a donation of a ten thousand litre water tank from the Ministry of Water. It is encouraging to see Seed of Hope centres receiving support and recognition from their local government offices.
Our Nairobi Seed of Hope centre also ended the year on a high with a colourful graduation ceremony. Students performed songs, dances, a drama and even a fashion show for the crowd that gathered to celebrate the graduation of the class of 2011. Guest of Honour for the day, PR guru Gina Din, said the event had really encouraged her. “When you hear the names of the places these girls come from, you automatically think of women who are househelps or perform other low income jobs. Now we know there will be independent young business women there who are empowered and can be great role models for their communities.”
Also in attendance on the day was local entrepreneur Evans Muriu who had been invited to officially launch Seed of Hope’s first program for boys, Clayton’s Mechanics. As businessman in the local automobile trade, Evans was able to encourage the first group of students who have enrolled for the course in lifeskills, business skills and mechanics. We are delighted that he has offered to mentor them on an ongoing basis.
After a successful graduation at Kariti Seed of Hope, it wasn’t long before their latest project got underway. As announced at the graduation ceremony, a computer centre has been launched offering lessons in basic computer packages and also bureau services such as printing and copying. This will help the Seed of Hope students who will also receive lessons as well as the local community. You can read more about this in a news article on our website.
All in all, 2011 has been a great year for Seed of Hope. We would like to thank everyone who has contributed towards this project and look forward to reporting more success stories in 2012 so that you can see just what a great investment you have made.
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