This project will help to lift 160 at-risk youth and young women from Nyeri town - Kenya's biggest slum - out of poverty. It will provide free vocational skills training and HIV/AIDS education, counseling and testing. Tailoring and welding/metal work programs, together with employment and business development counseling, will provide employable skills in high-demand sectors and help address associated problems like drug abuse and prostitution (due to women lacking alternative income)
Over 250,000 people live in Nyeri towns' growing slums, including many displaced by ethnic clashes. Education rates are low, unemployment rates are high and HIV/AIDS is taking an extremely heavy toll on people of reproductive age - those who would otherwise be the most productive part of the population. High youth unemployment rates are associated with growing rates of rates of crime, drug abuse, prostitution and human trafficking.
The project will empower Nyeri's slum dwellers by providing employable skills to help them become self-reliant and productive members of their community. Tailoring and welding/metal work skills are in high demand in Kenya's rapidly growing informal sector. The project will also provide HIV/AIDS education and testing, career counseling, small business training and linkages with micro-credit organizations. Priority for enrollment will be given to youth and young women.
Through skills training and assistance in finding employment or starting a business, this project will empower participants - particularly, youth and women - helping to break the cycle of poverty in a sustainable way. Self-reliant individuals will be able to support their extended families and contribute to building the community. Over time, associated problems like drug abuse and prostitution will fall, as will HIV/AIDS rates as participants share information with their families.