Unemployment in Kenya skyrocketed due to COVID-19, plus with severe drought and inflation, more people are experiencing poverty than ever before, especially the young. We've seen first-hand the devastating impact on children and young people. Many families live hand-to-mouth. With all disasters, the vulnerable are always most at risk. In low-income and drought-affected areas we need to provide food, essential items, training and support to ensure the communities we work alongside are safe.
The pandemic has had a devastating impact on young people's employment prospects. At least 1.5 million young people are out of work, dramatically increasing the number of people living in poverty. Families are borrowing money for food, or selling their limited assets, such as farming tools, which will harm the family's prospects to earn money in the future. We've seen firsthand the devastating impact the pandemic has had, with girls most effected and at risk of exploitation, abuse and violence.
With families struggling to make ends meet, children are not returning to school so they have no employment skills or qualifications, and therefore have very few opportunities available to them. That's where we come in. We will provide vocational training and business skills courses for free, along with counselling, cooked meals, food packs for families, vouchers for childcare and travel, menstrual hygiene packs - anything young people need to be able to learn skills and become self-reliant.
Through our Seed of Hope training and support programme we enable 14-25 year olds (75% girls) to secure employment or start a small business. 90% of graduates are in employment, self-employment or further education, generating enough income to be self-reliant and live above the poverty line, lifting whole families out of poverty and supporting communities. The long-term impact of COVID-19 will be felt for many years in communities already experiencing poverty, we're here to support them.