USAID Tumikia Mtoto Programme Empowers 100 Young Women to Join the Construction Industry

The Family Group Foundation and the USAID Tumikia Mtoto project implemented by World Vision Kenya have today held a graduation ceremony 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 KES 30 million partnership is aimed at enhancing the employability, income, and livelihoods of the vulnerable young women within the DREAMS program, aged 18 to 24, from Nairobi and Kiambu Counties, while boosting their technical skill sets.

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

“Adolescent girls and young women continue to confront a myriad of challenges to fulfill their potential. We, therefore, recognize 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 program 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.

“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 overemphasize the importance of mentorship and economic empowerment as demonstrated here today,” said Central Bank of Kenya Governor Dr. Patrick Njoroge.

This partnership is under the Foundation’s Shared Values Initiatives in construction, entrepreneurship, development, and business management services dubbed the Tufuzu Youth Entrepreneurship Development Project, which provides young adults technical training and access to labor markets, financing, and linkages to other strategic partners and the USAID Tumikia Mtoto project’s DREAMS program 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.

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

“The U.S. 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 said.

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.