Young people in Kenya have been challenged to take advantage of various programmes established by the government to support their livelihoods as opposed to depending on handouts from politicians.
According to Murang’a South Youth Development Officer Franklin Mutunga, only a few have shown interest in securing funds set aside for them by the government.
Speaking in Mithi Village in Murang’a South during the graduation ceremony of 89 young people who underwent a computer literacy and entrepreneurship course, Mr Mutunga called on them to apply for the funds to set up businesses to uplift their living standards.
“The youth should take advantage of various government funds to uplift their living standards and also embrace the recently launched Ajira programme to benefit from online jobs instead of relying on handouts from politicians who then misuse them for their political expediency,” he said.
He further challenged young people to go for government procurement opportunities, saying what is needed is to have them form groups to get tenders from State institutions.
On his part, the programme’s sponsor, Mr Antony Chege, said close to 3,000 youths have benefited from it since 2015.
He said he started the programme to ensure that Form Four leavers are not exposed to social vices including theft, religious extremism and drug abuse.
He said that besides the school leavers, administrators and business people have also benefitted from the programme which has helped many get employment due to the skills acquired, while others have started their own businesses.
“We have been offering the programme for free and we have been able to instil good character in the beneficiaries who have acquired entrepreneurial knowledge and life skills. As a result, there has been a reduction in abuse of drugs and criminal activities as the youths are busy undergoing training while those who have graduated have been absorbed into the job market,” Mr Chege said.
The training benefits youth from Murang’a South Sub-County and takes about three months to complete. It is done twice in a year.
Mr Chege cautioned the youths not to be used to fan violence especially at this time when the country is in a political mood.
“Youth need to be careful not to be used by the political class to advance their agenda at the expense of their (young people's) lives. Instead, the leaders should come up with programmes which will help in uplifting the living standards of the youth,” Mr Chege said.