Vijana Amani Pamoja (VAP) has been a GlobalGiving partner since 2010. They have participated in storytelling for multiple years and designed their project from that process. Recently they shared their insights with us.
Eunice, 23 years old, resides in Kiambiu and works as a hairdresser and beautician. She was one of the vocational training students for VAP’s 2014 cohort. Soon after completing her course, she was referred to Emma’s salon for a job placement as a hairdresser.
Her greatest joy is the fact that she doesn’t create a living for herself but for her sibling as well. ‘’I always wished to do hairdressing but I didn’t have the money to pursue my dream. In Mrembo salon, I learned both beauty and hairdressing and it has been of great help in my life. I’m now earning some money, I get paid on commission. I don’t earn a lot but the little I get covers my upkeep, pays my rent, and I help out a little bit with my family especially my little brother who I help with school fees. I would like to have my own salon and a beauty shop and currently I am saving towards that’’.
In a country where unemployment rate stands at 40% and the youth accounts for 67% of the country’s unemployed workforce, it is vital for people like Eunice to find work. Through its Mrembo Girls Program, VAP runs an employability project that seeks to provide youth, especially women, with vocational training and skills to enable them to compete in the job market.
The organization works in Kiambiu, Majengo, Mukuru, and Mathare slums which are characterized by high unemployment rates. Consequently, this acts as a breeding ground for crime, drug abuse, early marriages, and gender-based violence. Currently the project offers hairdressing and beauty skills to girls and young mothers in these particular settlements. Thereafter the girls are placed in VAP’s partnership institutions for job placements. This year, the project expanded to pastry and baking courses through college partnerships.
VAP’s director of programs and operations exclaimed, ‘’We are proud of Eunice and other graduates of vocational training, we want to see a significant raise of our own statistics”. Job creation among the youth is one of the key cures and therapy for poverty, crime, HIV, gender-based violence, and early marriages. Our ultimate goal is to create a sustainable employability program that will enable youth to gain access to job markets and entrepreneurship. ‘’We may not be able to offer long-term employment, but we should try to offer long-term employability”
Brian Corby, Vijana Amani Pamoja.