Nairobi’s Wezesha Vijana Initiative Kickstarts Youth Careers with Scholarships

By Treezer Michelle Atieno

The Wezesha Vijana TVET Programme, an initiative that empowers disadvantaged youth in Nairobi City County, celebrated a significant milestone with the Beneficiaries’ Scholarship Award and Flag Off Ceremony at Kibondeni College on 27th May 2024. The event marked the awarding of scholarships to 160 young individuals, providing them with opportunities to pursue technical and vocational education and training (TVET).

The scholarships, sponsored by Catholic Relief Services and the Safaricom Foundation, aim to equip these young beneficiaries with essential skills and opportunities to secure sustainable employment and improve their prospects. The beneficiaries will receive training at various vocational training centres (VTCs), including Waithaka, Kangemi, Embakasi, Mathare, Old Mathari, and Kibondeni College.

During the ceremony, Rosemary Kariuki, County Executive for Talent Skills Development and Care, expressed profound gratitude to the Safaricom Foundation and Catholic Relief Services for their support and partnership in the Wezesha Vijana Program. “This initiative is a testament to the power of collaboration in addressing youth unemployment and fostering innovation and resilience,” she stated.

Joseph Ogutu, Chairperson of the Safaricom Foundation, emphasized the importance of the event, celebrating the first cohort of Wezesha Vijana scholarship recipients. “This ceremony symbolizes the start of a transformative journey for these young beneficiaries,” Ogutu said, highlighting the program’s potential to change lives and communities.

In her speech, Ms. Kariuki reiterated the importance of TVET programs in today’s rapidly evolving world. “By investing in these programs, we are addressing unemployment and fostering innovation, resilience, and sustainable income for the youth,” she emphasized. She also underscored the government’s commitment to modernizing education by embracing emerging technologies and updating curricula to meet the needs of the modern world. “The Competency-Based Education and Training (CBET) framework and the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) framework are significant steps in ensuring that training programs are in alignment with industry standards and accessible to a broader population,” she added.

Ms. Kariuki encouraged the beneficiaries to seize this opportunity with enthusiasm and dedication. “You are the architects of your destiny,” she reminded them, urging them to embrace the training with a commitment to excellence. She also reaffirmed the County Government of Nairobi’s support for initiatives that enhance youth skills development and the power of collaboration to impact communities positively. “We will continue our efforts to create pathways for young people to access education, training, and employment opportunities,” she assured.

Key stakeholders, including Deputy Director of Vocational Training Leonard Mititi, principals, and instructors of the benefiting institutions, attended the ceremony. Their presence underscored the collective commitment to supporting the youth and ensuring the success of the Wezesha Vijana TVET Programme.

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