USAID Tumikia Mtoto programme empowers 100 more young women to join the construction industry

USAID Tumikia Mtoto Electrical Graduate Judith Mueni demonstrates her skills to the Governor of the Central Bank of Kenya Dr Patrick Njoroge, Family Bank CEO Rebecca Mbithi, and USAID Health, Population and Nutritional Director John Kuehnle, during the October 21, 2022 graduation ceremony for 100 young girls trained in vocational and technical skills.

Photo credit: Family Bank

The Family Group Foundation and the USAID Tumikia Mtoto project, implemented by World Vision Kenya, held a graduation ceremony on October 21, 2022, for 100 DREAMS young women, bringing the total number impacted under this partnership to nearly 300 women trained and certified in plumbing, electrical, and painting skills.

This partnership has seen 80 percent of the young women trained transition to internships and acquire decently paid work in various construction sites. The Ksh30 million partnership is aimed at enhancing the employability, income, and livelihoods of the vulnerable young women within the DREAMS programme, aged 18 to 24, from Nairobi and Kiambu counties, while boosting their technical skillsets.

“I would like to congratulate USAID, World Vision, Family Bank, and The Family Group Foundation, for taking up such a noble cause. The skillsets that these girls have acquired will be of long-term benefit to them when employed and even when they do start their businesses. I cannot overemphasise the importance of mentorship and economic empowerment as demonstrated here today,” said Central Bank of Kenya Governor, Dr Patrick Njoroge.

Speaking during the graduation of 100 young women from Cohort 3, the Family Bank CEO highlighted the need for institutional solutions to the gender gap.

“Adolescent girls and young women continue to confront myriad challenges to fulfilling their potential. We, therefore, recognise the responsibility that lies on both private and public sector players,” said Family Bank CEO Rebecca Mbithi.

“As a Bank and in line with our strategy, the acceleration and continuity of this programme demonstrate our commitment to creating equitable access to job opportunities for vulnerable young women. These technical skills and the increased resources for and investment in young women will provide opportunities for them to be changemakers driving progress in their communities and building back stronger for all,” she said.

This partnership is under the Foundation’s Shared Values Initiatives in construction, entrepreneurship, development, and business management services, named Tufuzu Youth Entrepreneurship Development Project. The initiative provides young adults with technical training and access to labour markets, financing, and linkages to other strategic partners and the USAID Tumikia Mtoto project’s DREAMS programme, which is an HIV prevention initiative. DREAMS continuously links beneficiaries to existing private-public-partnerships such as this, for a broader range of economic strengthening opportunities, thereby empowering young women and reducing their risk of HIV infection.

Governor of the Central Bank of Kenya Dr Patrick Njoroge, Family Bank CEO Rebecca Mbithi, and USAID Health, Population and Nutritional Director John Kuehnle, join USAID Tumikia Mtoto graduates during the October 21, 2022 graduation ceremony for 100 young women trained in vocational and technical skills.

Photo credit: Family Bank

To better prepare the trainees for the job market, the USAID Tumikia Mtoto programme also equips all the graduates with state-of-the-art construction tool kits at no cost. The tool kits are usually an expensive investment for new professionals in the blue-collar economy. They equip the young graduates for the labour market and set them apart as employees of choice for construction companies.

“The US government is proud to support this DREAMS cohort. Young girls and women in Kenya hold unlimited potential. They constitute more than half of the productive population and can make significant contributions towards Kenya's development. To the graduates, congratulations! All of your hard work and perseverance have led you to this proud moment in your lives. You are an inspiration to us all, and I know you will continue to make us proud,” said John Kuehnle, USAID Health Office Director.

The partnership also seeks to increase the economic stability of households to care for and protect orphans and vulnerable children, and to strengthen the capacity of community systems and structures through practical soft and hard skills training. The young women are not only trained in technical skills, but are also equipped with soft skills in communication, financial planning, as well as sexual and reproductive health information.

“We are proud that our graduates exemplify each of the DREAMS ideals. DREAMS works to empower at-risk young women to access gainful economic empowerment opportunities, thus reducing their predisposition to HIV/AIDS and its effects,” said Mr Paul Lilan, the World Vision Kenya Board Chairman.

“As World Vision Kenya, we present graduates who are determined, resilient, and now empowered as electricians and plumbers. Having also undergone mentorship, they are ready to create or support thriving businesses and careers in the lucrative blue-collar economy,” he concluded.

The technical skills training is executed by Arc Skills, a leading provider of skills and development solutions for schools, universities, and businesses. The training provided for young women is certified by the National Industrial Training Authority (NITA) and the National Construction Authority (NCA).

In June 2022, 176 young women and adolescent girls under the first and second cohorts graduated into the trades of plumbing, electrical, and painting, bringing the total number of technical and vocational graduates to 276.

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About The Family Group Foundation

The Family Group Foundation (TFGF) was established by an associated group of companies, namely Family Bank, Kenya Orient Insurance, and Daykio Plantations.

The Foundation’s mission is to empower families by catalysing transformative change for wealth creation and building a more inclusive society through sustainable community investment programmes in education, health, agriculture, youth empowerment, and entrepreneurship development, through a Shared Value Initiative.

The Family Group Foundation is deliberate in its strategy execution, more so within the global context, so that we can build a healthier, more resilient, and sustainable world and deliver real-world benefits to global challenges.

Our Shared Value Initiative is focused on youth and women empowerment centred on the following pillars: Access to quality secondary education through scholarships for bright and needy students; nurturing sports talent through the Family Group Eldoret Half Marathon; inclusive education for children with special needs, dubbed Champions Run for Autism; agribusiness for climate-resilient food and nutrition security; construction in adherence to green building technologies, ICT, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH); and environmental conservation for climate change adaptation.

For more information about The Family Group Foundation, please click here.

About USAID Tumikia Mtoto

USAID Tumikia Mtoto is a PEPFAR/USAID-funded five-year project implemented by World Vision Kenya, working towards promoting access to county-led quality health and social services for orphans and vulnerable children, adolescent girls and young women, and their families.

USAID Tumikia Mtoto works to increase access and demand for quality HIV prevention services to adolescent girls and young women through the DREAMS programme. DREAMS works with 10-24-year-old adolescent girls and young women with an elevated risk of HIV infection.

DREAMS provides a comprehensive, multi-sectoral package of age-appropriate interventions implemented at the clinic and community settings. Economic strengthening, entrepreneurship, and employability skills-building are the building blocks of the programme, which works to empower adolescents and youth to achieve economic independence and build their social capital. This is done through market-driven value-based livelihood interventions that integrate savings, internships, and mentorship, and are gender-sensitive; creating awareness on safeguarding policy and sexual and gender-based violence issues;  fostering an understanding of sexual and reproductive health and rights; and continuously linking the beneficiaries to existing private-public-partnerships for a broader range of economic strengthening opportunities, thereby empowering young women and reducing their risk of HIV infection.

USAID Tumikia Mtoto project is led by World Vision Kenya (the prime) in partnership with six local implementing partners, namely: Redeemed Integrated Development Agency (RIDA), National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK), AVSI Foundation, Beacon of Hope, St John’s Community Centre (SJCC), and Cheer Up Programme.

The project is jointly implemented with the county governments of Nairobi and Kiambu.

USAID Tumikia Mtoto enjoys complementary support from strong collaborations with clinical partners, the private sector, and other stakeholders in delivering quality, age-appropriate HIV and violence prevention health and social services to AGYW, OVC, and their families in Nairobi and Kiambu counties. You may contact +254728750876 for more information.

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