Students from three Kenyan universities have been selected to receive a grant of USD 1000 per college from the Ford Motor Company Fund and Enactus Kenya to enable the implementation of their existing projects.
The students from Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology, University of Eldoret and Maseno University will use the grant to carry out targeted community development projects.
The three key focus points of the projects are: Provision of clean and safe water, poverty alleviation, and agri-business.
The projects were selected as part of the Enactus Ford College Community Challenge (C3), which promotes the development of innovative solutions among university students to address critical needs in their local communities. The initiative runs in partnership with the Ford Motor Company and global non-profit organisation Enactus.
Alisea Chetty, Communications Manager, Ford Motor Company, Sub Saharan Africa, said: “We stand fully behind Kenya’s youth and completely support this initiative which seeks to build their capacity in social enterprise and community development. As we celebrate World Youth Skills Day, our aim is to support more youth-driven enterprises in their efforts to uplift their communities.”
World Youth Skills Day is observed on 15 July every year to deliberate on actionable solutions for youth unemployment by concentrating efforts on building skills in entrepreneurship, finance, technology, and other enterprises that can create employment.
According to the Global Talent Competitiveness Index, one in six young Kenyans is unemployed. World Bank data further states that youth unemployment in Kenya has averaged 20 per cent in the last 10 years, rising from 17.1 per cent in 2011 to 17.4 per cent in 2014.
The Ford C3 initiative aims to address the gaps in youth employment by empowering them with education and skills to start and lead initiatives that transform their lives and the communities in which they live.
“We are honoured to work with Ford Motor Company Fund and look forward to collaborating with the participating teams as they undertake activities to create sustainable, positive impacts in their communities,” says Winnie Nanjala, Deputy Director & Business Development Manager of Enactus Kenya.
The Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology team in Bondo, Siaya County will use the USD 1,000 funding to enhance the provision of sustainable clean water to the community of Usire. As a result of the project, the team aims to positively impact the health and wellbeing of the community while also improving the livelihoods of local farmers.
The team at the University of Eldoret has prioritised environmental sustainability and economic development as their focal points, linking up with a farmers’ organisation that has ventured into fresh farm produce, dairy and horticulture as their major economic activities in the town of Eldoret.
Through the funding received for the Ford C3 challenge, the students will be working with the farmers to enhance their drive to become self-sufficient and enhance food security in the region.
The Maseno University Enactus team is working with Genesis, a community-based organisation in Kocholya in Western Kenya, which was started by members of the local community to improve their living standards in response to widespread poverty.