Three year EU funded youth program ends, benefits 15, 000

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A  three-year youth program funded by European Union(EU)  through  the Aga Khan Foundation  will came to an end on June 30, this year.

The  funds benefited over 15, 000 youth in three counties of Garissa, Lamu and Mandera.

The program mainly funded training equipment for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) institutions as well as peace initiatives, training on entrepreneurship and agri-business training amongst others.

According  to  the Foundation Program Officer  Kaviha  Khamis, the project assisted several vocational colleges with ICT training equipment among them computers and projectors, tailoring materials, beauty and saloon equipment.

Khamis  was  speaking  at Lantern Hotel in Garissa  town on Thursday where the Foundation officials met youth groups and institutions they  have  been supporting to formally inform them that the program was ending.

He  said  youth  groups were also linked with micro finance institution and affirmative action offices such as women representative office, CEC  trade  and enterprise development as well as Youth Enterprise fund.

“The  aim  of  the program was to improve social and economic opportunities for vulnerable young women and men. It aimed at facilitating greater employment and income generating opportunities,” he said.

He  added  that  the programme helped in increasing the enrollment at Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) across the  three counties.

“The best way to empower the youth and make them self-reliant is by equipping them with the right skills,” he noted.

“The  community awareness meetings on the importance of pluralism, ethics and diversity have similarly been helpful in bringing communities involved in conflicts together to discuss issues that fuel conflicts,” Khamis said.

The  program  also  partnered with other Non-Governmental organization such as Womankind Kenya and other youth led groups, including Garissa  Youth  Bunge.

The  youth  groups leaders who spoke during the meeting cited lack of youth friendly policies and laws as biggest challenges facing young people in Kenya.

They  observed  that poverty levels among local communities deterred them from saving since they prioritized other basic necessities for their daily upkeep.

Delays  in  disbursement of youth funds targeting youth and long and bureaucratic requisition process to get the funding were cited among the  major challenges.

By  Jacob  Songok

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