Professional training for Kenyan orphans
In Kenya it’s customary for siblings to look after their younger brothers and sisters when their parents have passed away. But if that takes up all of your time, when do you get to go to school? And where do you get the money from to keep yourself and your family? Ujima Foundation’s Youth@Work project offers these young people a sustainable solution in the form of hospitality training schemes.
From education to work
In 2005 Ujima started a training programme that’s fully tailored to the target group and local employers. And it’s booking results: since the scheme was set up almost 2400 students have taken part in the Youth@Work project. Including little brothers and sisters the project has reached out to more than 6000 children. What’s more, 80% of the participants subsequently found work!
Comprehensive training schemes
The training is oriented towards the tourism sector with trainees pursuing a part of their training in lodges managed by Ujima. That way what’s been taught can immediately be put into practice. Alongside work-related subjects the foundation also focuses on personal development. The young people are given sex and relationship education (focusing both on private and professional aspects) and every participant is assigned a mentor who helps them to achieve a healthy work-life balance. For entrepreneurial learners Ujima offers a training course to start your own business.
The best support is self support
Ujima Foundation is on target to generate a substantial flow of income before 2019. Not without reason its slogan is ‘the best support is self-support’. The Foundation aims to achieve self-sufficiency through the revenues generated by the lodges and its training centre’s commercial arm. Its method is bearing fruit: within the first year the profits generated by the first lodge were sufficient to finance the second training programme. Ujima is also working hard to professionalize the training centre for paying clients. But as things stand at present, Ujima can use all the support it can get to make an overwhelming success of the Youth@Work project. Good to see how this foundation rates self-reliance as a number one priority not only for its participants but also for itself!