APPRENTICESHIP SKILLS AS A MEANS OF LIVELIHOOD
MWENDO’s apprenticeship approach provides out-of-school OVC (15 – 17) OVC with specific occupational skills, as well as valuable employability skills, interpersonal skills, and a general knowledge of the world of work competency in a specific career. Trainees who successfully complete the program have the option of entering the workforce directly or starting their own enterprising initiative based on skills acquired. It offers a pathway for responsibly transitioning youth to be able to meet their skill development and employability goals and also bridging the skills mismatch gap between their skills and the skills for the market place.
The story of Godfrey Siro , a partial orphan aged 17 years is a beneficiary of youth apprentice program. He is a second born in a family of seven who lost his father 6 years ago. His mother Grace Nyanchama has been living in abject poverty with no definite income source. The family would depend entirely on contract jobs where they would get meager pay to provide for basic needs which was not enough. His father had serious health problems and was bed ridden most of the time and so the mother had to find means of single handedly providing for the family. She was earning 100-200 a day. Godfrey’s mum was also sickling most of the time. “At one point I remember coming back home from school to find both my parents very sick. I had to stop going to school in class seven to take care of them’’, He says. “I would go out and look for any job to fend for the family, shortly my father died and we were left with our sick mum. My elder sister also dropped out of school and got married at the age of 16 years because of the challenges at home’’. Life was so miserable and hard until the day a community Health Volunteer visited the household to talk to them to enroll in MWENDO OVC project in the year 2019. Since the mother was always sick the CHV counselled and referred the mum and the members of the household to Iranda sub county Hospital to take HIV test to know their status. The mother and their younger sister were confirmed positive.
The CHV developed a case plan for the household and one of the key interventions was to enroll Geoffrey in apprenticeship program.
Godfrey was enrolled in apprenticeship program in November 2019 and was attached to a local artisan at Gamba shopping centre where he was supported by the project and within 6 months, he had gained enough skills.
|Fig 1. Godfrey in the workshop|
Due to his dedication and hard work, he has been employed by the artisan where he earns steady income of Kshs. 300 – 500 in a day.
From the earnings he gets he has been able to support his mum to start a small business to get income. She sells food items at home and as a result she is able to have enough food to take her medication well. Her health has improved much
and she is always positive about life. She no longer does contract farming since she is fully engaged in her small business. Godfrey also provides for his sister educational needs and since they have been sensitized on viral suppression by the CHV, he ensures the younger sister and the mum attends ART clinic and sometimes supports them with transport to the facility. “I sincerely thank MWENDO OVC project for the turnaround they have made in our lives within this short time. I am also optimistic about life and do believe that one day i will be able to go back to school and get 0 level certificate.” Says Godfrey as he bid us bye.