The Youth and Devolved Funds Project (YDFP) is a project in Nyeri County. It targets to help 50 youth drawn from Nyeri Town Constituency to be able to exploit their untapped potential and energies in the right manner so that they can benefit themselves and the society. This project aims at helping the youth to be empowered to engage with government.
Majengo Furniture Makers is currently made up of 10 members drawn from Majengo area in Nyeri County. The group started in 2007. It has been a recipient of the Youth Fund to date after demonstrating good repayment.
The group specializes in assorted furniture like sofasets, wardrobes, and coffins. The coffin business as they attest is doing well compared to other furniture pieces as they are in demand thanks to their business proximity to the Nyeri Provincial General Hospital.
The baseline survey conducted revealed that most of their members had learnt their trade through apprenticeship. Some of the members have not accessed their education beyond primary school and lacked basic business skills.
The programme has conducted trainings on entrepreneurship and financing especially in the devolved system. The members were exposed on viable and effective methods of marketing, procurement processes and also on advocacy to enable their inclusion in key youth engagements and programmes.
Most of the members appreciate trainings they received so far. Davies, a member, admits that since then they are keeping proper inventory of their sales. The group bid for the supply of furniture to the Nyeri County Assembly but were unsuccessful. They want to embark on an ambitious plan to improve the market for their products. Already, they have approached the County Government to give them a more strategic and spacious show room near Kingo’ng’o area in Nyeri to display their products.
The programme is currently conducting follow-up visits to the members where they are provided with technical support to be able to sharpen their entrepreneurial skills.
Mweiga Uprising Youth Group was started in 2011. The group currently has 10 members between the ages of 25-36 years. The group got its first tranche of money from the Youth Fund of Kshs. 50,000 which the members sub-divided to boost their businesses. They managed to repay it promptly and qualified for the next tranche of Kshs.100,000 which they also serviced.
Currently, the group does table banking and also disburses loans with interest. The interest from the loans has also helped boost the group pool savings. The group also involves itself in dowry taking ceremony to its members who were starting families. So far, only 4 members have not undertaken this rite.
The baseline survey conducted revealed that the education levels by the members were low. Most members had not accessed post primary education and thus were only conversant with just the basic business operations.
The program conducted several trainings. The first training was more expository and was aimed at helping the youth understand ways of attracting funding, procurement processes and also how to position the communication function especially to the devolved governments.
The group was also taken through thematic trainings that reflected the various capacities in the groups. Some groups were at more enhanced capacities of understanding and managing business to the others. They members felt they needed a raft of trainings.
The following topics were handled:
According to their Chairperson, Mr. Kihia, the trainings have helped them improve their thinking to viable group opportunities to venture in. Already he is a beneficiary of a school supply tender to Mweiga Secondary School which he attributes to the valuable skills he learnt during the trainings.
After the trainings, the members confess that they are now in a better footing to attract even bigger pools of funding as they will have training certificates. This is a requirement in accessing Uwezo Funds. Lastly, the members also are looking at projects that will sustain them even after the transitional youth stage.