Women’s Hope: Young women participated in a business incubation program in the hospitality industry

Kenya – The Girl Spark program was created with a $5000 grant from GPA in March, 2016. The program trains and supports young women living in Kenyan slums to work in the hospitality industry either as employees or entrepreneurs. Each participant completed an 8 week skill accelerator program where they learned necessary “hard” and “soft” skills.  After completing the program the were linked to employment or entrepreneurship opportunities, mentors, developed a savings plan and learned how to negotiate a fair wage with health care.

27 girls participated and at the conclusion of the program 90% were either employed by others, profiting from their own business ventures (and, employing others) or attending higher education programs in the field.

 

“The girl spark program has empowered me with the
necessary skills and confidence to start my own cleaning
company. Now I have the power to dream big and do big”–Ann

 

The Girl Spark Experience

Ann, a mother of one always had a dream to start her own cleaning company, but the cost of paying college fees coupled with the financial challenges of taking care of her young daughter lead her to seek alternatives– when she learned about the Girl Spark Program she saw an opportunity to achieve her dream. Today she is the founder of a cleaning company and provides part-time employment to five young women living in the urban slum of Kibera.  Ann’s ambition is to continue with expansion of her company and provide opportunities to other young women.

Imarisha: Youth developed a rare bird farming program successfully increasing tourism in the community

Kenya –  Youth producing and drying briquettes

In April, 2016 GPA awarded a $5000 grant to Imarisha to train community youth to develop, process and market efficient charcoal briquettes from solid waste. These briquettes are used for cooking stoves in most homes in the Nyeri region of Kenya. In addition, this product preserves the natural forestation of the area and provide a cleaner source of fuel. Four youth were trained on the production process, marketing, financial management and sales of the product. Ten additional youth earned funds by providing the solid waste for production.  When faced with obstacles, youth readily reached out to experts to collaborate resulting in a well-branded, effective product that is affordable resulting in decreased poverty, a cleaner environment and reduced unemployment in the area. Imarisha has plans to scale up production in 2017.

Megabridge: Youth developed a rare bird farming program successfully increasing tourism in the community

Kenya – Megabridge received a $5000 grant from GPA in February, 2015 to develop a community-based rare bird farming project in rural Embu County youth. The project was an excellent example of the “out of the box” thinking that occurs when grantors listen to the needs of youth. The farm promotes tourism to the rural area and supports local educators who often bring students by for field trips. Youth participants support the program and themselves through admission fees.  At the conclusion of the 8 month grant over 200 youth had participated in the project, it is expanding to include other animals and being replicated in 5 other rural areas.

Let’s Change Our Community Youth Group (LECOC): Trained youth in commercial farming operations

Fortune Community Center: Trained young women dress making, handmade school uniforms were donated to local orphans

Children and Youth Empowerment Center (CYEC): Training youth to convert waste to biofuel for sale