Kisumu county officers from the department of Youth, Gender and PWDs attended a two-day training as from Thursday this week to enhance support on access to decent work and strategies of offering and monitoring youth empowerment services.
The workshop organised at the Le savanna Country Hotel in Kisumu courtesy of Forum for International Cooperation (FIC) in Partnership with Youth Alive Kenya (YAK), is expected to create a better understanding of effective engagement and identification of strategies with government officials to ensure greater project impact and sustainability, enhance capacity of government officers and partners on effective monitoring of youth empowerment initiatives with available collaboration opportunities and strengthen linkages and partnerships.
While presiding over the official opening of the workshop, the Chief Officer, Mr. Haggai Kadiri expressed optimism in ensuring the agenda of the youth is a priority in relation to job opportunities, issuing bursaries for youths to join Vocational Training Centres (VTCs).
He commended the partners for the support in realising the vision of the youths. He added the county has set aside resources such as social centres and the county revolving funds that can be utilised to realize the dreams of the youths.
He however called on the partners to come up with programs that uplift the Boda boda riders who are the majority of youths who require life skills trainings.
On her part, the Director VTC, Madam Paschalia Ouma in her presentation highlighted the status and challenges of the County VTCs.
Out of the 26 institutions 21 have been legally registered and the rest five are in the pipeline. There are also plans by the directorate of VTCs to have an institution in each ward with specialties going forward.
Some of the challenges outlined were lack of policies, few instructors, low budget allocation and negative perceptions by parents and students on VTCs
The participants were advised on the need to scan their institutions, identify the training gaps and align the trainings to the market demands. It was also resolved that advocacy and civic education be hyped to avert the negative perceptions.
The Facilitator from Forum for International Cooperation (FIC), Mr. Erastus Ouko in his presentation enumerated the strategies for resource mobilisation through assessment fundraising, using success stories, clearly defined programs with impact, knowing the existing funders and partners among others.
The training saw the participants draft an action plan to chart the way forward on matters youth empowerment activities led by the County Youth Officer, Mr. George Orude.
The Forum for International Centre in partnership with Youth Alive Kenya through bridge grant program designed to run as from the year 2017 to 2020, have collaborated with the county to implement other programs targeting the youths which include: capacity building on labour market, business skills and entrepreneurship, advocacy on youth policies, business mentorship and career guidance.
The participants also included: Martin Owino of Boya VTC, Gladys Akinyi of Akado VTC, Simeon Ogonda, Cardinal Elias Komenya of ECJP, Nancy Okal of Ajiry, Tom Joe Omollo, Fiona Okwiri and Adah Omedi county officials among other invited participants.
By Emily Mikwa