NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept 11 – More than 300 youths from slum areas around Nairobi graduated this week from the Informal Sector Business Institute, an institution supported by Samsung Real Dreams – a youth employability program under Samsung Electronics Company Limited.
The program aims to increase economic activity, particularly by promoting job skills and preparing young people from informal settlements for successful, long-term careers.
"Although the Kenyan economy grew gradually over the period from 2000 to 2007, the youth unemployment rate is still high, roughly two to three times the rate for the overall adult population, while underemployment is also common and this explains the initiative," said Gloria Anampiu, Marketing Manager Samsung Electronics Kenya.
45 students graduated under the Samsung Real Dreams Program, with Business and ICT skills.
"Of these 10 students are already employed in different institutions, some have already started their own businesses with assistance from Samsung Electronics and five are going for further studies, while 30 are seeking employment with the assistance of the program," she said.
Samsung Electronics has provided funding amounting to Sh26.5 million towards the program.
Through the funding, the Electronic lab which contains serviceable mobile phones, TV sets and other electronic appliances was constructed. Samsung provides the electronic appliances in the lab and also technical staff to give talks in the electronics classes during the course period.
"Through this dedicated program, we hope to empower Kenya\’s young people and prepare them to compete for decent jobs, so that they can fulfill their dreams and aspirations for a better future for themselves and their communities," Ms Anampiu said.
Samsung has also put up a placement office, employed an officer who searches for internship opportunities and job opportunities for students who have successfully completed the courses.
The funding also goes towards subsidizing the students\’ fee by more than 50 per cent. The students currently pay Sh8000 which can also be paid in small amounts, or after the students get employment.
Apart from funding to run the Real Dreams Programme, Samsung Electronics assists students who have successfully completed the course to secure internship opportunities at its service centres in Nairobi.
At the centres the youth also receive knowledge on how to service Samsung products.
This Program will potentially benefit many young people from the poorest areas of Nairobi by enabling them to access job skills and obtain decent employment or initiate their micro-businesses.
The Samsung Real Dreams program is being implemented in partnership with three local non-governmental organizations: the Informal Sector Business Institute (ISBI), the African Centre for Women and Information and Communications Technology (ACWICTS), and NairoBits.
Each NGO is implementing a youth employment and development program offering training in life skills, information and communication technologies, and entrepreneurship as well as providing work experience through internships and job placement services.