- Youth Empowerment through Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) is one of the important tool for development as far as youth empowerment is
concerned. It is a sector with diverse aspects stretching from the complex telecommunication technologies, radio and television broadcasting, electronic media, computer hardware and software, and print media. This diversity presents countless direct and indirect opportunities for the youths and women both in self-employment and wage employment. However, the digital divide, manifested by infrastructural gap, content gap, and gender gap, negatively affects youths, and basically the community’s uptake and application of ICT.
Empower and Serve (EmpServe) Kenya acknowledges the contribution of Information and Communication Technologies in social and economic development and its potential to create jobs for the youths and women. In fact, the inception of EmpServe Kenya can be traced from a community self-help group offering basic computer training for out-of-school youths in Murang’a County.
EmpServe Kenya delivers an integrated ICT training to youth and the community aimed at elevating their enthusiasm to apply technology for community development. Through this program, EmpServe Kenya endeavors to make Information and Communication Technologies pertinent in youth’s daily activities, while preparing them for the world of work. To name a few, EmpServe Kenya in collaboration with various partners trains on;
- Basic and advance computer application,
- ICT and entrepreneurship,
- ICT as a tool for self-branding and self-marketing,
- Careers in ICT,
- ICT as a marketing tool.
- Career Guidance and Coaching
Many young people encounter the challenge of making a decision on the right career path and starting their professional lives.More so,
it become even difficult often when they are navigating a weak and constantly changing labor market. While it is important for the youths to have an education and in-demand skills, they also need career guidance and coaching to achieve long-term success. They require acquaintance of how the economy is growing and changing both at local and national level, and how this dynamic affects the job and business landscape. They also need a deep understanding of how available career options are relevant to the interests and talents they possess. More importantly, they need to develop suitable technical and soft skills that the employers are in quest for, while seeking relevant workplace experience.
It is in the heart of Empower and Serve Kenya that youths require career coaching and guidance for them to face the labor market with much confidence. Our career coaching and guidance program not only helps youths and women make immediate career choices but also cultivates career management skills in our beneficiaries, informed by the ever changing job market. Besides, the program works with role-models and mentors across career paths.
- Agri-Enterprise Development Program
It is unfortunate that agriculture is not beheld as a viable employment sector and apparently remains vastly unattractive to the youths,
consequent on associated risks, unprofitability, and its labor intensive nature. Many young people taking up agriculture are regarded as vulnerably employed accruing little or no income. While a higher number of youths, than the number of prime age group, is opting out of agriculture for other forms of employment, a majority of them still derive their livelihood from agricultural activities. Noteworthy, promoting employment-centered agro-investments for the youth result in poverty reduction, improved food security and enhances sustainable economic and social growth and therefore leads to rural development.
Empower and Serve Kenya has taken great strides, through research and analysis, in understanding the social context that revolves around youths and agriculture. As a result, our agri-enterprise development program is both research-informed and beneficiaries’ targeted aimed at promoting youth agro-enterprises and bringing out the desirable outcomes for youths in agribusiness. The components of this program are;
- Agribusiness modelling training;
- Value Chain Management Training;
- Linking small holder farmers to successful farmers for experience sharing, farm visits, farm demos and training;
- Initiating youth-led farmers cooperatives;
- Organizing local and national agri-tours for young farmers;
- Agri-Finance linkages;
- Agri-Market Bridging
- Graduates Transition and Empowerment Program
There is growing rates of unemployment with the youth bulge crisis largely affecting university graduates in Kenya. Kenyan youth—that is,
individuals between 15 and 34 years of age—make up 34 percent of the population (and over 60 percent of the adult population) and suffer high rates of unemployment. This age group constitutes 70 percent of the total unemployment in the country. Although unemployment figures decrease as youth get more education, recent studies show unemployment is increasingly becoming a concern among university graduates. It is no longer by default that after graduating one gets a job. Such a guarantee is no longer there. 15.7 (which is on the increase) graduates in Kenya are unemployed. It is also estimated that a university graduate takes an average of five years.
Empower and Serve Kenya’s Graduates Transition and Empowerment Program is an intervention project focused on empowering graduating youth through post campus orientation, job creation training and labor market linkages. The main target group for the program is the graduating students to the world of work. The program is focused on increasing their employability; possession of relevant labor market knowledge, transferable skills and other attributes that facilitate gaining and maintaining of worthwhile employment. The programs has the following aspects;
- Experiential professional training, mentorship and coaching;
- Employment/volunteer/internship linkages;
- Panel of investors for enterprise support;
- Incubation centers for unique and creative innovations.