Huru Celebrates a Growing #Girlforce

 

“Inspired” doesn’t even begin to describe how we’re feeling at Huru.

It suffices to say that 2019 is off to a memorable start for the Huru team. We traveled to Kenya early this year to check in with our Nairobi team and to commemorate a major Huru moment: our inaugural group of trainees successfully completed Huru’s newly launched Skills Transfer Program!

11 young women (shown here) complete Huru International’s first Skills Transfer Program

11 young women (shown here) complete Huru International’s first Skills Transfer Program

Huru’s Skills Transfer Program launched last year on the International Day of the Girl to address youth unemployment in East Africa. Young women globally are particularly disadvantaged when it comes to unemployment, as they are less likely to finish secondary school, less likely to enter the formal labor market, and earn substantially less — about 20 percent less — than men when they do find employment. In a recent study by UK Department for International Development (DFID), 49 percent of female youth in Kenya reported being neither in school nor employed, compared with 37 percent of young men.

The Skills Transfer Program teaches young women practical industrial sewing skills, supplemented with lessons on business, entrepreneurship, menstrual hygiene management (MHM), sexual and reproductive health and gender-based violence.

At Huru’s formal program launch and graduation ceremony, all of the women proudly sported Huru-purple sashes and smiles that lit up the room. A moving commencement speech was given by one of the young women to an audience filled with Huru supporters from Safaricom, Standard Charter Bank, UNICEF, Micato Safaris and many others. The celebrations were complete with cake cutting, certificates of completion, graduation caps, and A LOT of dancing.

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We’ve witnessed quite a transformation in these women. Prior to the program, many of the trainees were shy and nervous, finding comfort in the back of the classroom. However, throughout our eight-week course the young women learned not just marketable, practical sewing skills but also soft skills: financial literacy, business management, goal setting, effective communication skills, and more. By the end of the program, each of these young women were confident and actively participating in the course.

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The transformations don’t stop there. All of our 11 trainees have jobs, including one woman who woke up every morning at 4am to sell mandazis(doughnuts) on the roadside before coming to Huru for class. Her goal was to save enough money to purchase her own sewing machine, and she has now done just that! She’s currently working on opening up her own shop.

We’ve seen the very real impact that this training can have on the life of young women in Kenya who have been forced to drop out of school. Our second group of young women started the Skills Transfer Program at the beginning of January, and we can’t wait to see all the ways that they, too, transform into a powerful #girlforce.

If you’re interested in learning more about Huru’s Skills Transfer Program, please reach out to us at training@huruinternational.org

 
Huru International