Youth Empowerment Through Digital Skills Training (Ajira)

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The County Executive Committee Member for Youth, Sports, Gender, and Social Services, Josephine Atieno, alongside her Nyandarua counterpart, Catherine Gitau, engaged with the youth at the Kapenguria Youth Empowerment Center in West Pokot County during their Ajira Program session this morning. The Ajira Digital program, under the Ministry of ICT, is dedicated to providing digital skills training for both the public and institutions. These skills are essential for helping youth acquire online opportunities and secure job placements in the digital economy.

Ms. Atieno lauded the partners involved in helping young people acquire digital skills through 27 comprehensive Digital Modules. She emphasized the importance of these modules in enabling the youth to generate decent incomes and build sustainable livelihoods. The Ajira Program has been instrumental in facilitating a Youth Women meet-up, drawing participants from the North Rift Region, including West Pokot, Uasin Gishu, Trans Nzoia, Bungoma, and Elgeyo Marakwet. This meet-up provided a valuable platform for the youth to share their online working experiences and challenges, fostering a sense of community and mutual support.

By equipping young people with digital skills, the Ajira Program aims to reduce the likelihood of their engagement in criminal activities and drug abuse. The skills training not only opens up new avenues for employment but also enhances their ability to contribute positively to their communities. Ms. Atieno highlighted the transformative impact of the program, noting that the youth are now better positioned to take advantage of the burgeoning opportunities in the digital economy.

The event was attended by several notable figures, including Hon Rebecca Kide, CEC for Education in West Pokot; Dr. Clare Parklea, CEC for Trade in West Pokot; Edwin Pkemei, CEC for Youth in West Pokot; Edward Kigo, CEC for Youth in Nyandarua; Josephat Kimemia, Director of Youth in Nakuru; and representatives from various partner organizations such as DCA led by Elly Ruuri, ADS-NRR, AJIRA, and Mastercard.

Partnering with other counties and organizations has been a significant benefit of the Ajira Program. Such collaborations enhance the program’s reach and impact, enabling the sharing of resources, expertise, and best practices. By working together, counties can address common challenges more effectively and create a more cohesive strategy for youth empowerment across the region. These partnerships also provide a broader platform for the youth to showcase their skills and innovations, promoting inter-county learning and cooperation.

The Ajira Program’s success in West Pokot is a testament to the power of digital skills training in transforming lives. By focusing on digital literacy and online job opportunities, the program helps bridge the gap between the youth and the digital economy. The skills acquired through the Ajira Program are not only relevant for securing jobs but also for fostering entrepreneurship, as the youth are encouraged to create their own online businesses and services.

The engagement at the Kapenguria Youth Empowerment Center underscores the importance of digital skills in today’s economy. With the support of the Ajira Program and its partners, the youth in West Pokot and the surrounding regions are poised to make significant strides in their professional and personal development. The continued collaboration between counties and organizations will ensure that these young individuals have the tools and support they need to succeed in the digital age, contributing to the overall growth and prosperity of their communities.

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