The rate of unemployment especially among the youth in many countries has been a key challenge to most governments in the world. With the high rate of unemployment in Kenya, the Kenya Youth Employment and Opportunities Project could not have come at a better time. According to the KYEOP appraisal document, the Project is designed to be a social protection system that assists in the reduction of poverty and vulnerability as well as enhances youth capacity to get employed in order to manage their economic risks.
KYEOP is providing employment opportunities and business grants to beneficiaries who join the program. Grants are given by the Micro and Small Enterprise Authority (MSEA). Within the 5 year span, Youth recruited in the different Cycles are going to be marketable to the labor force in both the formal and informal sectors since they will have gained experience and exposure from training and internships offered by KYEOP. This will drastically drop the unemployment rate in the country. KYEOP is also providing earning opportunities for a lot of people through its day to day activities. This includes project staff, service providers like daycare providers, chefs, trainers, and master craftsmen just to mention a few.
A new dawn of entrepreneurs is created through the Project. KYEOP beneficiaries who qualify to receive business grants are able to start their own businesses. This will in turn create employment opportunities for other youth employed by these new entrepreneurs and Kenyans in general. The country’s revenue collection shall increase since youth are getting jobs and starting businesses. This will be through tax payments, bank accounts, work permits, purchase of goods and services, and general transactions.
Due to a lack of jobs, most youths result in alternative ways of making a living. This is by involving themselves in crimes like burglary, violence, prostitution, and drug and substance abuse with most of them ending up on the streets. KYEOP is inclusive, incorporates, and empowers this group of youth by sensitization and giving them opportunities to join the program. Lower rates of crime are going to be registered during the Project tenure as youth are rehabilitated and given a skillset to enhance their employability and eventually get employed or start their own business.
In addition, the socio-economic status of the vulnerable, marginalized (VMGs), and people with disabilities (PWDs) will be improved. As mentioned earlier, KYEOP is inclusive and gives a fair chance to all youth. The Vulnerable, Marginalised Groups and People with Disability are getting equal opportunities for training, internships, and job placements. This will also encourage other vulnerable youth not to focus on their situation and become important, independent people and tools in society.
The Project is facilitating an increased number of youth with skills in both blue-collar and white-collar jobs. Most youth selected to join KYEOP come from not so well off families and cannot afford tuition for higher learning institutions. The Project trains the youth in both formal and informal areas. The formal training will include: for example, computer studies, engineering, hairdressing, and event planning. In informal training, examples include beadwork, masonry, and agribusiness. This will improve the market force and employability of this youth and other generations to follow.
KYEOP is greatly improving and transforming the lives of youth in Kenya and seeks to empower a generation that is independent and business-minded. This project is a transformation journey to youth who hope for a brighter future. It gives hope that even in tough times there will be a positive outcome at the end. It uplifts the lives of many youths.