K-YES IN ACTION: Business Trainings Unlock Opportunities for Nairobi Youth

Music ebbs from a sound system as a group of young dancers respond with coordinated moves. A young man with a fancy hairstyle is controlling the beat. He is also keeping a keen eye on dance moves – often interrupting the action with fresh instructions and demonstrations.

He is the team leader. Meet Samuel Omondi, a beneficiary of K-YES trainings on business skills who is using gained knowledge and skills to transform his business.
Born from a humble background in Siaya County, his peasant parents could not afford his school fees. He was forced to drop-out of Aquinas High School in Nairobi and fight-off the danger of indulging in bad company that often affect most school drop-outs.

His passion for dancing made him form a troupe comprising fellow young school drop-outs. It was for fun – he sourced lessons from the internet and reached out to more youth. The effort started paying off – his group started receiving invitations to perform in public events and gatherings.
His decision to follow-up on a message received his social media platform turned out to be a life-changing step. The message was about a training opportunity on business and entrepreneurship targeting youth with primary or some secondary education.

The 20-year old dance instructor was enrolled in the training that made him realize he could turn dancing from a hobby to profitable business venture.
“The training was short but with long-term benefits.” He notes. ¬¬¬“My perception towards changed – from mere fun to business as well.”
He reveals that before attending the training, the group used to make less than Sh. 6,000 per month donated mainly as a token of appreciation. Earnings have since increased to a minimum of Ksh15, 000 per month since the group adopted a business approach thanks to K-YES intervention.
Membership has also grown from five to 13 dancers. The group has also formed a Village Saving and Loan and Association (VSLA) from which members can save and gain speedy access to capital.

“We are planning to register the group as an entertainment company and expand our presence beyond Nairobi.” He reveals.
Samuel is an example of the change that the program envisages among the youth benefitting from its activities. As of September 2016, program interventions have seen over 300 youth who have dropped out from school ¬in Nairobi, Garissa, Kwale Bungoma; and Kericho gain access to better employment – including self-employment.
While the project focuses on empowering youth who drop out of school at primary or secondary level with relevant skills for improved income, it does not encourage voluntary discontinuation of one’s education.

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