At least 230 beneficiaries of the Kenya Youth Employment and Opportunities Project (KYEOP) from the counties of Kisumu, Kisii, Kakamega, and Bungoma graduated during a colourful ceremony.
The graduates who were trained in cycles 2 to 6 between 2018 and 2022 could not hide their joy saying they greatly benefited from the programme and were empowered enough to start and run their own businesses successfully.
Dennis Abuga, a beneficiary from Kisii County, said he learnt of KYEOP through a friend and applied jokingly but to his surprise, he was among those selected for the training.
“I didn’t know about KYEOP until a friend told me about it when I was working in a hotel. He applied for me but didn’t expect to be selected,” explained Abuga.
Abuga trained for plumbing and got employed in a hospital in Kisii immediately after sitting for his NITA examinations.
“After completing my NITA exams, I went to the field to gain experience but fortunately got absorbed at Hema Hospital,” declared Abuga.
He added that besides his employment, he has begun his own business which makes him able to fully sustain himself and not depend on salary.
He further urged the youth to apply for the project and utilize the golden opportunity since the project is on course until 2025 and appreciated KYEOP and other partners.
“This is a very nice programme and I urge my fellow youths to take advantage of KYEOP. It has really helped me,” revealed Abuga.
Kennedy Otieno from Kisumu, appreciated the project terming it a door-opener for him since it created many opportunities for him after completion of his training.
“KYEOP enabled me to partner with Ajira Digital and I was again later partnered with Africa 118 company who employed me as a professional field agent,” he divulged.
The training has enabled him to create self-employment and be his own manager besides working for the company and partnering with other firms.
“I don’t need to be employed if I’m to be paid less than Sh500 a day, I can earn more. I’m my own boss and it makes me happy,” stated Otieno.
Otieno advised the graduands and fellow youths that their future squarely lay in their hands and it was upon them to decide which way they wanted to shape it adding that ‘friends who surround you meant much’.
“I want to advise fellow youths that your future is in your hands. It is your contacts that make you who you want to be. Choose your friends wisely,” disclosed Otieno.
Jane Mwokoli, a contractor and one of the instructors from Bungoma, urged parents to enroll the youths who completed high school and were not absorbed in universities and tertiary institutions.
“Everybody was born a dreamer, and we should not leave the children frustrated after their forth-form if they miss out on institutions of higher learning,” urged Mwokoli.
Principal Secretary, State Department for Youth Affairs, Charles Sunkuli, while addressing the graduands at Mama Grace Ogot Social Hall Kisumu, urged them to utilize the skills they gained and enhance employment opportunities in the world of work.
“I’m aware most of you have secured formal and self-employment this will enable you to earn sustainable livelihoods,” asserted Sunkuli.
The PS expressed sincere gratitude to JADFAD Consultants for organizing and facilitating the graduation ceremonies in Kisumu, Nairobi, and the Coastal regions.
By Peter K’opiyo and Lorine Awino