What is the problem?
Over 300,000 youth survive on Kenya’s streets.
Due to a lack of resources, many commit crimes and end up in jail or dead. Kenyan street youth cost millions in lost potential and contribute to civil unrest and insecurity, compounding social issues in a country with 75% youth unemployment.
Existing programs costing millions of dollars provide basic services to street youth but fail to create economic opportunity. Without jobs and employable skills, youth are often forced to return to the streets or join crime.
|In a self-directed photo shoot KITO alumni, Alex, shows us the reality of life on the streets.
KITO operates on the principal that if you engage street youth in creating economic opportunities for themselves and their peers, you can shift their focus from survival to community activism.
For populations like street youth, a job signifies a bridge to social reintegration. For those who have never been employed, a job is a source of pride and security. A job provides an opportunity for a healthy livelihood. A job is ultimately about dignity and freedom.
Street youth are recruited by team members, recommended by affiliate organizations, or apply on their own. We select KITO youth through a participatory interview process that includes group and individual challenge games. We look at one’s leadership and teamwork capabilities, entrepreneurial creativity, positive attitude, and performance during challenge games.
Youth who successfully complete the interview process enter into a two- month rigorous training program. The training covers:
- life skills
- financial literacy
- employability skills
Youth who graduate from the training program are offered employment at KITO’s business, EcoSafi, for four months. At EcoSafi, KITO youth get hands- on experience in:
- customer relations
If we had it our way we would keep KITO youth around forever. However, we want our youth to continue to grow to their fullest potential. KITO customizes each youth’s exit strategy to ensure their continued success. Previous graduates have started their own business, found full time employment, or continued their education with the help of KITO’s Scholarship Program.
|KITO youth receiving life skills training.