For many young people like 23-year-old Emmanuel Kungu, lack of formal employment remains a critical development challenge.
In Isiolo County, Act! supports Nomadic Women for Sustainable Development (NOWSUD) to turn things around for the unemployed youth especially those vulnerable to recruitment into extremist groups. Many of the vulnerable youth either dropped out of school or completed school but still remain unemployed. Others are street boys and girls aged between 12-19 years, single young mothers and those without known parents or relatives. The newly established center is imparting skills such as tailoring, shoe making, embroidery and computing.
According to Sammy Kariuki, the Program Manager at NOWSUD, the youth should be creative and innovative in order to address the widespread problem of unemployment and underemployment instead of being the problem. He notes that other than the technical trainings, the center will make a strong point in equipping the trainees with other types of skills, especially business management and life skills crucial in helping them take up viable income-generating ventures and boost their livelihoods.
Just like other trainees, Emmanuel enthusiastically says the acquired skills and knowledge will help him start up a shoe making business in the town. He has identified the huge demand for eco-sandals among the locals who prefer them due to their comfort and longevity particularly in an area characterized by hot and dry weather. Sadia Gilara, a mother of two who is currently taking up embroidery and dress making, says that her products will target tourists, especially now that Isiolo airport has been commissioned. Isiolo is also home to many lodges, game parks and wildlife conservancies that have been attracting tourists to the County.
The skills development project by NOWSUD is part of Act!’s broader approach of complementing Kenya government’s efforts in empowering an ever increasing number of youth to become socially and economically self-sustainable and thereby help them resist the allure of radicalization and violent extremism.
Through Peace, Security and Stability Program, Act! is building the capacity of communities, grassroots organizations and state security agencies to respond to peace and security challenges in Kenya. The Program is supported by Embassy of Denmark in Kenya.