Computer skills for young people in Kenya
Turkana, Kenya
The Turkana Community Foundation in Kenya wants to set up a computer training course in its existing training centre to increase the competitiveness of young people on the labour market.

An amount of € 4,240 was required to purchase the necessary equipment.

Project has successfully been executed
Amount collected: € 4,240-
Project information
The situation
Turkana County is located in the former Rift Valley province of Kenya. Turkana is the second largest, by land area, and the most north-western county in Kenya. It is bordered by Uganda, South Sudan and Ethiopia.

While the overall youth unemployment rate in Kenya is about 15% the situation in rural areas is worse due to poverty, illiteracy, inappropriate technology and inappropriate education. Training institutions that offer appropriate technology are located in big cities far from the villages and too expensive for rural families to afford.

One out of three people in Turkana county live in extreme poverty and cannot pay the fees for vocational training in the cities. Many of them are semi-illiterate and lack skills to secure employment. Due to the lack of knowledge and skills, young people cannot find work and the vicious circle of poverty is maintained. Young people just try to survive with illegal practices such as prostitution, crime and drug trafficking or use.

The importance of the project
Turkana is the poorest region in Kenya. However, expectations for the future have been more favourable since significant oil and water resources have recently been found. The population of Turkana County may well benefit from the growth in employment. But the lack of skilled people in the Turkana County can just as well cause migration of skilled people from other regions to Turkana County.

Now is the time for the county to offer local young people training in order to acquire the necessary skills so that they can benefit from the improving economic situation.

The implementing organisation
The Turkana Community Foundation is a registered community-based organisation (CBO) that was established in 2015. It operates in the rural areas of the Turkana county and endeavours to provide vocational training to local young people to enable them to get work, generate income, meet their basic needs and improve their living standards. The mission of TCF is: “To nurture, socially and economically empower local young people to spur their local development”. It’s target is to annually offer vocational training to about 800 young people.

Turkana Community Foundation has over the last four years been running two programs:

  1. a programme supporting annually 1000 vulnerable children to have access to education, by providing them scholastic material, uniform and shoes; and
  2. a programme to equip annually 200 local young people with tailor and business skills.
The envisaged project results
DThe planned computer training is intended to provide young people with knowledge of appropriate technology for which there is an increasing demand. The local business community and local youth will be involved in determining the demand for knowledge and in setting up the training program. It thereby will not simply offer a standard training in basic computer use but will include ICT training for which there is a specific demand.

The project will result in a well-equipped training centre where young people can, among others, follow ITC training courses. This is expected to contribute to the development of young people and to the following concrete results:

  1. Annually at least 100 vulnerable young man and women will be adequately equipped with effective business and computer skills;
  2. At least 2/3rd of the graduates will be supported to start their own businesses while the other 1/3rd will be supported to secure employment using the acquired skills
  3. Having acquired both skills and employment, at least 80% is these young men and women will become self-reliant, independent and possibly key players in the development of their community.
The chance of sustainability
With the support of the Van Doorn Foundation, the Turkana Community Foundation prepares a business plan for the centre and curricula for various courses. This is to ensure that the objectives can be achieved. The plan pays attention to the efficient operation of the centre, the achievement of sustainability, the assurance of the quality of the programs and the recognition by the government.

The training centre will initially set up a computer / ICT course in addition to the existing tailor course. Then there are plans to expand the training centre with a carpenter course, a plumber course, and possibly a baker course and a car mechanic course in a few years.

To run the computer / ICT course costs around € 5,200 in the first year and then generates around € 2,000 in revenue. In the third year the annual expenses will be around € 1,800 and the income will be around € 2,200.

Progress of the project
Implementing the project during the covid-19 pandemic has been quite challenging.  The 1st quarter of 2020 the computer training equipment was procured in Nairobi, and the trip to Nairobi and back to Lodwar required covid-19 tests 14 days quarantine in both places. In the 3rd quarter of 2020, some additional equipment (for internet connections) was procured and the basic computer training continued with training in the use of the Internet.

The Van Doorn Foundation made € 4,240 available for the purchase of computers, printers and furniture and for the salaries of the teachers during the start-up of the training.

The results
The project had a difficult start due to the pandemic. At the same time, the project came at the right time because young people need to learn how to use computers and the Internet in order to follow their courses online.

The project eventually achieved its goal and set up a computer training course where young people learn about contemporary technologies.