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Date: Tue 27 Sep 11
Entreprenuership for Secondary Schools
Education not only provides children and families with a pathway out of poverty, but it can also yield even bigger returns for the worlds poorest countries through its impact on areas such as health and the economy.
EPTF and I Choose Life –Africa, a Non-Governmental Organization that has contributed greatly to HIV prevention efforts among youth in Kenya have partnered in an initiative targeting two High Schools. This project seeks to enhance learning through piloting of a holistic sexual reproductive health, rights intervention and economic empowerment in Dandora and Kayole Secondary schools that are within slum areas in Nairobi. The project targets students, their parents/guardians and teachers.
Dubbed SEAL (Sexual Reproductive Health, Economic Empowerment, Academic Excellence and Leadership & Governance), the venture aims at eliminating sexual activities among the youth by giving them an alternative perspective in life and a means to creating wealth with dignity.
This pilot program began in July 2011, where a selected number of Dandora Secondary School students had an opportunity to go through Peer Education and Entrepreneurship and Business Development courses.
Paulette Sharnez, a form 3 student at Dandora Secondary school, one of the trainees went ahead and approached her mother with a business idea of selling mandazis (buns) using a unique recipe but the mother shrugged off the idea. Paulette did not give up and convinced her mother to buy her the ingredients since they already had the necessary equipment at home. She woke up early one morning and made the buns, to her amazement, she ran out of stock by 8am. The mother joined in the business which has become an income source for the family.
In early September, 17 teachers representing 8 secondary schools within Nairobi county participated in Entreprenuership development training with the objective of developing an approach to address the underlying poverty issues which influence the spread of HIV and AIDS. Sessions covered during the training included designing an enterprise development programme and entreprenuership concept and youth dynamics. The teachers described the content and training techniques as excellent and one teacher commented “Before we were doing it wrong, now we know how to do it right – we’ve been born again.”
It is evident that the future of the country’s economic development lies in encouraging enterprise creation and growth at all levels. The benefits of entrepreneurship education are not only limited to boosting start-ups, innovative ventures and new jobs, entrepreneurship is a competence for all, helping young people to be more creative and self-confident in whatever they choose to undertake. We are grateful to our long-term partners, NavPartners Sweden for supporting this initiative and giving students like Paulette Sharnez an opportunity to create wealth with dignity.