The Covid-19 pandemic has left many people jobless. In Kenya, over 1.5 million people have lost their jobs since the pandemic started. This means that more and more families cannot be able to get a daily meal or afford basic needs. Women and Children are the most affected.
Rose was married at the age of 19 years. As a young girl with so much dreams, her life was cut short when her parents died. This forced her into early marriage. Unfortunately her "husband" left her with one child in Kibera slum. Rose did not have an option except to start provding for herself and her young child. Because of her low level of education, she could only secure casual jobs which are not well paying.
When the pandemic hit, she was one of the 1.5 million Kenyans who were rendered jobless. Her employer could not allow her to continue with her job. Rose was forced to sleep in the streets with her child for several months. During this time, she knocked on several doors for jobs, but unfortunately nothing was forth-coming.
Rose was later introduced to our young mother's economic empowerment program by one of the well wishers who had heard of her plight. She succefully went through the program and was given a start-up capital to start her business. Rose is currently running a profit making business in Kibra and she is able to provide for her family. Her son just started school.
Apart from her business, Rose has dedicated herselft to mentoring young people on various issues that affect them in the community.
Thank you: 80 young women and girls have graduated.
By Veronicah Nyambura | programs Manager
"I joined the economic empowerment program becuase I could not access sustainable employment, this was due to my low education level and lack of business skills. We were taken through a 3 month's training. After graduation, we were given start-up capital. I started a second hand clothes business. My business has been running for a month now. The mentors have continued to provide me with more business knowledge which help in running the business effectively" Nancy.
Many young women and girls living in Kibra slum are expected to stay at home and take care of their families, this is because of the fact that they are not able to get access to employment. Some men in the informal settlement still believe women should never earn a living of their own.
Many men believe that women can thrive only in jobs that involve children, health, beauty, or domestic work. Early forced marriages are still common in some traditions and can prevent young women from contributing economically to society. Girls who marry young are often required to end their education to stay at home and look after their family.
We have supported 80 young women and girls living in informal settlement get access to sustainable entrepreneurship skills. These women and girls were provided with small grants in order for them to launch their businesses ideas.
These women can confidently partcipate in the socio-economic projects in their community.
Over 1 million jobs were lost in Kenya during the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020. 60% of the jobs lost affected youth between the ages of 18-35 years. Youth living in informal settlement like Kibera slum and mostly depend on casual and domestic jobs found themeselves in a very difficult place. Some of them turned to drugs, crime and violence to meet their needs and those of their families. Some were affected mentally.
We launched a project to support youth who have been affected by the pandemic to get access to employment by either launching their businesses, reving affected businesses or securing sustainble employment. The project targeted youth who have gone into crime, victims of gender based violence and those who had gone into drug abuse.
Since December 2020, we have trained 50 youth. 23 of these youth have so far secured sustainable employment, 22 have decided to advance their education and 5 have launched their own businesses. The businsses currently impact the lives of over 100 people and they are generating enough money to provide for the needs of the youth. All 50 youth have continue to receive counselling in order for them to deal with the mental health challenges.
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