The new trade and talent centre is a hub of activity. We are producing unique furniture items for the school including desks, beds dining tables and benches. The centre is a symbol of the programme’s sustainability. It gives us opportunities to create local solutions for local problems. This year the centre has been successful in raising over $7,000 from the sale of products. This is contributing to the cost of materials. In this way, our centre is proving to be a vital community resource in more ways than we expected. Beyond the acquisition of skills and the generation of income, we are providing lifelines. People are able to earn their livelihoods and retain their dignity. We provide the support of a larger family who believes in their potential.
Engaging Primary School Students
The metalwork department has been creating innovative window frame designs and gates for sale. All our 98 boarding pupils are participating in a range of small industrial projects. We are recycling old car tires and turning them into furniture pieces. We are even redesigning second-hand clothes from the market for re-sale to members of our self-help groups. Girls are enjoying metalwork and masonry, while many of our boys are enthusiastically re-designing old clothes for sale at the local market. We are challenging our instructors to find creative ways of teaching young people with poor Maths and English.
“I have never seen an institution like this which includes children and young people from the streets in learning. It is a challenge to us as teachers and forces us to reconsider our own values. Sometimes we think we know something and then a student surprises us by showing us something different. It is not easy.”
Zachary Mwenda, Tailoring Department
Our youth leaders known as Youth Peer Providers (YPP) have been enthusiastically engaged in small micro-enterprise projects. A group of 16 street-connected youth have been making products for the local market at our centre. We are including them in a new national initiative to support young entrepreneurs in Isiolo. We are hopeful that by increasing cooperation at the local level we will boost sales and production from our centre. The centre is providing unemployed youth with a platform for the products to be sold for the local market.