DHL mentors Kenya’s youths

September 2, 2010
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, \"\"NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 2- DHL Kenya has embarked on this year’s go-teach programme which will see 100 high school students get first-hand experience in the professional world.

Area Commercial Manager Stephen England says the programme is aimed at mentoring disadvantaged students so that they can make positive choices about their careers before completing high school studies.

He explained that the initiative in partnership with the Kenya Network for Women with HIV/AIDS (KENWA) picked students who were either infected or affected by the pandemic from local schools.

“The objective for this is basically to give children the opportunity to see the different careers in our organisation so that they can evaluate what types of things they would potentially want to do. Students who want to become accountants spend time with our accountants learning about the aspects of the field,” he said.

Mr England also noted that the programme which had been in operation for the last four years had so far taken in 400 students. The number of students taken at a time had also increased from an average of 40 to 100.

He added that the initiative did not have a special selection criteria and that it took in students regardless of their academic performance.

“We don’t say that someone has to be of a particular brilliance before we take them in because that would be unfair. And our experience is that those who’ve been through this have benefited in terms of providing them with direction and understanding,” he observed.

On her part, KENWA Orphans and Vulnerable Children Coordinator Jane Ndirangu added that the Non-Governmental Organisation had also started paying school fees for some of the students.

“Some of the students who got school fees from DHL have already cleared and others are in the university. This partnership has really been important because KENWA itself does not have the capacity to give all the children everything,” she said.

She urged members of the public together with the government to provide assistance to those in the society who were less advantaged. She specifically asked the Education Ministry to ensure that students in informal settlements had access to the Constituency Development Funds and bursary kitties.

“Most of these children don’t benefit from the monies set aside by the government and there is need to break this service down so that it can reach them,” she said.

Ms Ndirangu also noted that the cut-off point for getting admitted into secondary schools often left out needy students: “Last year some schools were asking for up to 390 marks and you find that most KENWA children who are affected with the virus cannot get these marks in their primary schools because of the many problems they go through.”

DHL Kenya has a myriad of Corporate Social Responsibilities including the Living Responsibility to shape a sustainable future, the Go-green project aimed at promoting environmental conservation and Go-teach which is a commitment to providing equal education opportunities.

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