KYEOP empowers Kakamega youth

Counties Editor's Pick Kakamega Youth

A 22-year-old youth, Triza Matemba, has found passion in plumbing after gaining skills through the Kenya Youth Employment and Opportunities Project (KYEOP) in Kakamega.

Matemba is among the 7,840 youth who have been trained under the master craftsman’s and she is waiting to be examined by the National Industrial Training Authority (NITA) later this year.

For now, she has been assigned a master craftsman who trains her on hands-on skills in plumbing. She joined KYEOP in November last year.

At KYEOP, trainees undergo a one-month classroom session on Core Business Skills Training (CBST) and Life Skills Training (LST).

Thereafter a trainee chooses the path to take, either to enroll in formal education through the polytechnics or be assigned a mentor known as a master-craftsman, who is highly skilled in a particular craft having completed many years of training rising from apprentice, journeyman to master craft.

In both paths, trainees are examined by NITA after completion of training sessions.

While the majority of her friends chose the formal way and were enrolled at Sigalagala National Polytechnic, Matemba was assigned a master-craft trainer in Plumbing.

She hopes to open a hardware store to supply plumbing materials if she gets enough funds.

The County Coordinator of KYEOP Kakamega Franco Luambo said that master-crafts are playing a key role in imparting industrial skills to the youth.

KYEOP is a component under the Micro and Small Enterprises Authority (MSEA) that targets youths from 18 to 29 years of age.

Fredrick Aoko the regional Director of MSEA covering Kakamega and Vihiga region said the government has provided funds to 5937 youth in Kakamega under KYEOP with each youth receiving Sh40 000.

Additionally, Aoko says the government has disbursed Sh 54million under Mbele na Biz in Kakamega benefiting youths with business ideas.

Among the beneficiaries are 10 youth who were given Sh 3million each and 20 others who received Sh 900 000 each.

The Coordinator said more funding will be available once the government operationalizes the MSEA fund which will target youth and enterprises asking youth to take advantage to earn a living.

Evans Okacha who is a resident of Lurambi benefited from Mbele na Biz and used the funds to start an Agri-tech company, E-Mboga, which markets and distributes agri-produce connecting farmers to markets.

“Thanks to Mbele na Biz, we have been able to put quite some footprints in the Kakamega space. We now have a team of five staff and we have offered attachment to three students,” he added.

By Moses Wekesa and Jacinta Okola

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