Universities urged to lead in Sustainable youth-centered projects
There are 6Million jobless youth in the villages in Kenya and according to the trends this number will double in a few years. Governments, private sector and universities are all grappling with the issue of the rising number of youth unemployment/ graduate unemployment in different parts of the globe. If only there is a solution to this issue that has affected economies and development.
This was the focus of the discussion when a team from USAID paid a courtesy call on the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Stephen Kiama on Tuesday Feb 25, 2020.
Michelle Chen, USAID’s Director for Education and Youth office, emphasized on the importance of institutions of higher learning to think differently when it comes to this issue of youth unemployment. She explained that the USAID has evolved its thinking as they grapple with the different issues in the world. She challenged the universities starting with the UoN to innovatively find ways to reach out to that jobless youth in the village. She urged the universities to provide a channel and system for mentoring institutions like the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVETs).
On his part, Prof. Kiama took up the challenge and reflected that the University of Nairobi as a mother university to several institutions in the country must lead in sustainable projects that will impact the society not only for now but for years to come. He noted that the University will amend its approach and perspective on how projects are handled and that the youth should and will be the most beneficiaries of any projects that are youth-centred.
Ms Chen concluded by urging institutions of higher learning to plug in the existing platforms already created to reach out to the youth and use them to involve the youth, consult and generate sustainable solutions. This, she said is the strategy that the USAID will employ for the next 5 years in their partnerships and projects.
The University of Nairobi highlighted the Office of the Career Services that is handling Career guidance and counselling, the Elimika Youth Program that challenges the youth to use the knowledge gained to transform their lives and their community and RADA, the student developed app that focuses on reproductive health and mental health awareness for all university students.