Expansion joiner training in Kenya
Githurai, Kenya

The Fountain Youth Initiative in Kenya wants to provide the vulnerable youngsters of the Githurai slums quality and affordable vocational training that allows them to find work, generate income and improve the living conditions of themselves and their communities.

To expand the existing carpentry and joiner training, woodworking machines and tools are needed. These are made available by the Tools To Work foundation. For the overhaul of these (second-hand) machines and tools and their shipment to Kenya as well as the procurement of training material to start the training € 3,500 is required.

Amount required: € 3,500.-

Amount collected: € 3,500,-

Sponsor: Transfair Stichting 

Project information
The situation
Githurai, a suburb of Nairobi, is a mix of slums and residential areas with around 800,000 inhabitants, of whom 70% are young people and children. The population is cosmopolitan with residents of almost all tribes of Kenya as well as refugees from South Sudan, Congo, Rwanda and Ethiopia.

Urban growth in Africa is fast and uncoordinated, so also in Nairobi. In Githurai residents live under difficult circumstances, such as extreme poverty, overpopulation, a large number of people suffering from HIV and poor access to water and sanitation. In addition the cost of living is increasing constantly. Illiteracy is a major problem, due to the poor socio-economic conditions in the slums, as a result of which parents have no money to let children go to school. Due to the lack of knowledge and skills, young people cannot find work and the vicious circle of poverty is maintained. Three in five young people in Githurai are unemployed, and the majority of them try to survive with illegal practices such as prostitution, crime and drug trafficking or use.

The importance of the project
The slums of Githurai are strategically located; 16 km from the centre of Nairobi. This makes it a promising place for employment. Because of the rapid growth of the city there is a lot of work for construction workers and furniture makers. Unfortunately, the inhabitants of the slums have little benefit from this employment market because they are not trained for it.

The Fountain Youth Initiative started in 2016 with a centre for vocational training that provides subsidised training in computer use and tailoring skills. Over the past three years, 600 young people have followed training at the vocational training centre and around 64% of them have found a job or started their own business. In August 2018 it started to setup a carpentry / furniture maker’s training, with the support of volunteers from the Flying Furniture Makers (Vliegende Meubelmakers), from The Netherlands. There is a small carpentry workshop where 8 students can follow a woodworking course each year. The demand for this training is much greater, but because of the limited number of woodworking machines and tools and because the training is now given by (not always available) volunteers, expansion is not possible right now. However, taking into account the promising possibilities for employment in Nairobi, expansion is desirable!

The implementing organisation
Fountain Youth Initiative is a registered NGO in Kenya, founded in 2009. The organization is run by local people with the support of international volunteers. Their mission is threefold: to educate, develop and empower the local youth: “Empowerment and transformation of Jobless Youth with Vocational Skills for a Better Life“.

FYI wants to teach vulnerable young people in Githurai technical skills at an affordable price to enable them to learn a profession and find work, to generate income and to improve the living conditions of themselves and their communities.

The envisaged project results
The Rise up with Carpentry Skills project aims to reduce youth unemployment in the Githurai slums. With the expansion of the vocational training centre more vulnerable young people from Githurai will have the change to learn technical skills with which they can find work in Nairobi or start their own business.

To achieve this, the project set the following goals:

  1. Every year 40 young people learn carpenter / furniture maker skills;
  2. Trained young people will be assisted in finding work and for at least 70% of them work will be ensured;
  3. A production workshop for furniture will be set up, where trained young people can find a workplace (temporarily or otherwise). With the sale of furniture it will be made possible to subsidise the training.
The chance of sustainability
With the support of the Van Doorn Foundation, FYI prepared a business plan for the centre and learning plans for several courses. This is to ensure that the objectives can be achieved. The plan pays attention to the efficient functioning of the centre, the achievement of sustainability, the assurance of the quality of the programs and the recognition by the government.

The training centre can operate fully independently financially after a one-year start-up period. Over a period of five years, the training centre will be expanded from the current two courses (computer and tailor) with four additional courses (furniture maker, metalworker, bread & pastry and car mechanic). These practice-oriented training courses will yield products made by the trainees. The sale of these products will gradually become the largest source of income for the centre.
The set-up of the carpenter / furniture maker course will cost the first year about € 7,500 and will generate revenues at approx. € 4,000. In the third year, the annual expenditures will be about € 5,250 and the income about € 6,150.

As soon as the production workshop becomes operational, the centre will generate sufficient income to subsidise the training programmes for the most disadvantaged young people.

The required funds

The project requires € 3,500, of which € 2,400 for the purchase of machines and tools and € 1,100 for the initial training material. The Transfair Foundation has made for this € 3,000 available, which allowed for the purchase of machines and tools and procurement of training material (wood).

The progress of the project

The construction of the workshop will be realized with FYI’s own resources. To increase the capacity of carpentry and joiner training, extra woodworking machines and tools are made available by the Tools To Work foundation from The Netherlands.

The € 2,500 required for the overhaul of these (second-hand) machines and tools and the shipment thereof to Kenya were made available by the Transfair Foundation .

The COVID-19 pandemic is impacting the project by substantial delays in the shipment of equipment and tools.