300 young people Nairobi, Kiambu and Nakuru counties have graduated from the East African Breweries Limited (EABL) sponsored Heshima programme at Langiri Grounds in Kibera Constituency.

Heshima is a vocational and entrepreneurship training programme that equips young people in Kenya with practical skills to enable them earn a decent living. The courses taught in the programme include entrepreneurship, tailoring, motor mechanical applications, hair and beauty, plumbing, electrical applications and catering. The young people get certificates upon completion of the courses.

The programme’s first phase targets 10 counties i.e. Nairobi, Kwale, Kiambu, Murang’a, Nakuru, Makueni, Machakos, Homa Bay, Migori and Kisumu.

Speaking at the graduation ceremony, Principal Secretary for Youth and Public Affairs, Dr. Francis Owino commended EABL for the Heshima initiative.

“Many African countries are grappling with the burden of youth unemployment. For us in Kenya, the weight is heavier considering that we are a young country with a median age of 19 years. Our ministry is however working towards offering sustainable solutions to them. It is amazing to see programmes such as Heshima, which complement what we are doing as a ministry towards youth empowerment,” said Dr. Owino.

“I am delighted to see a corporate recognize the importance of technical training in promoting economic growth and job creation. I believe that our collective efforts will go a long way in establishing a strong pool of skilled youth and give young people a way out of poverty and vices such as crime and illicit brews that stem from it,” he added.

EABL’s Corporate Relations Director Eric Kiniti said the company is committed to providing the youth and women with vital skills for employment and income generation.

“We believe in the power of self-sufficiency in addressing youth unemployment, which is rampant in the country. The Heshima Programme cements our commitment to building thriving communities by giving women and youth a chance to build a better future for themselves through vocational and entrepreneurship training,” said Eric.

EABL graduated the first batch of 89 Heshima beneficiaries in May this year in Kisumu County. The programme is run in partnership with Africa Initiative for Rural Development (AIRD).