At least 207 youths from humble backgrounds in Isiolo County have completed free vocational training courses that have been ongoing for the last four months. They have additionally received start-up kits courtesy of the NAWIRI Project that is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the County Government of Isiolo.
Beneficiaries took up courses in tailoring and dressmaking, hairdressing, masonry, driving, plumbing, mobile phone repairs, electrical engineering and motorbikes repairs under a programme dubbed “Nawiri na Ujuzi”.
Addressing the media during the graduation and handing over of the start-up kits to the beneficiaries, Isiolo County Deputy Governor Dr. James Lowasa hailed the initiative as transformative to the lives of the graduands, as the skills acquired will enable them to work and earn a living to fend for themselves and their families.
NAWIRI Project Deputy Chief of Party in-charge of programmes Margaret Kahiga noted that the beneficiaries of the skills transfer initiative hail from households that have children under the age of five years and who have malnutrition challenges, with most of them being young parents.
The training was conducted at their respective villages, where experienced artisans were identified and given the role of caring for their families, without necessarily having to travel to establish vocational training centers and polytechnics.
The graduands also received start-up kits for the various skills they have received to enable them work and earn a living.
27-year-old Monica Ekiru from Kiwanja in Ngaremara ward who has successfully completed a course in hairdressing courtesy of the initiative lauded the programme terming it life changing to the beneficiaries. She said that the newly acquired skills will enable her to establish her own small business which will in turn reduce her overreliance on parents and relatives in a bid to raise her kid.
The 207 graduands were the first cohort to benefit from the “Nawiri na Ujuzi” programme, with the next cohort set to start their learning activities in October this year.