In an effort to implement the Panama Declaration on Ending Violence Against Children in Kenya, which was signed during the Fifth Forum of the Global Network of Religions for Children (GNRC) held in Panama City, Panama in May 2017, Center for Sustainable Conflict Resolution (CSCR) through its flagship programme Building Resilience Against Violent Extremism (BRAVE) partnered with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to train the community on personal financing programme known as ‘Basic Business Skills and Entrepreneurship Development Training.’ The training aimed at elevating entrepreneurial skills among the members of the community.
According to the available data from Kenya Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) and Society for International Development (SID, 2013), people below the age of 35 form 70% of the population and most of them (70%) are jobless. This shows that there is a large working population (i.e. 15-64 years) who are jobless, thus an urgent need for investment in gainful employment opportunities. The graph below shows population distribution by age for emphasis.
The trainings were held in the regions where youth and children are most vulnerable namely: Kwale, Mombasa, Lamu, Garissa, Wajir and Mandera. Sixty (60) participants from every county were mobilized to partake of the training. The training lasted two days in every county and the main topics discussed were: 1. Key Concepts of personal business skills. 2. Management of personal finance. 3. Understanding Assets and Liabilities 4. Dos and Don’ts in a small-scale business 5. How to start a new business. 6. The social benefits of effectively managed personal finance.
The CSCR leveraged on BRAVE’s established network to mobilize youth and community leaders to benefit in this programme. This skills’ training was conducted to enable the public especially youth to utilize available resources to create gainful employment for themselves and keep away from the tentacles of violent extremists who take advantage of poverty and unemployment to recruit them. Participants appreciated the efforts that went into organizing the trainings and more importantly, the actual training itself saying it was very beneficial.
Shekue Muhammad, one of the participants quoted an adage “Old habits die hard”, meaning it will not be easy to change overnight the ways that people conduct businesses. He added, “the training has inculcated new financial management tricks that will go a long way in making participants avoid the common mistakes that small scale business owners naively commit.” The participants were carefully selected for maximum benefit or trickle-down effect in the community. It is hoped that more trainings like this will be organized in the near future for wider reach.
Ustadh Jafar Alwy
“I have never participated in such a good training before. However, the duration allocated for the training is very short but we hope it will be increased next time for maximum benefit.”
Siti Mariam Salim
“We always do small scale businesses but never had the skill to organize our finances. This training is very useful and will help us organize our finances and plan for expansion of our businesses.”
“Today I have realized my ignorance in operating business despite that I have ran a business for many years. This training will help me shape my business better.”