KCB Foundation, through its flagship youth empowerment programme, ‘2jiajiri’ will equip 1,000 persons living with disability with technical and entrepreneurial skills this year.
The beneficiaries will receive vocational training at technical training institutions across the country in various trades that form the backbone of the informal economy namely: agribusiness, automotive engineering, beauty and personal care, building and construction and domestic services.
Out of this year’s recruitment target the Foundation will extend business development services and financial support to PWDs operating Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and apprentices who will be recruited through the KCB Bank branch network in the country. The Foundation will offer Business Development Services and financial support to the out-of-school youth to start their own enterprises upon completion of training.
UK High Commissioner Nic Hailey noted that Tuesday’s event was about the private sector. “Almost 90% of the jobs created in Kenya are from the private sector, so it’s really inspiring to see KCB launching this project to bring people with disabilities onto their job creation programme to help them get the market for their products, because that’s where the real change is going to happen. It’s out there in creating opportunities for people” he added.
KCB Foundation Managing Director Jane Mwangi said the Foundation’s objective is to empower persons living with disabilities to run businesses that can allow them to utilize existing opportunities such as access to the 30% of Government procurement opportunities set aside specifically for enterprises owned by youth, women and PLWDs through the Access to Government Procurement Opportunities (AGPO) programme.
“This will be achieved by working with stakeholders to mobilise the youth living with disability for them to benefit from technical, financial and entrepreneurial skills required for enterprise development,” said Ms Mwangi.
According to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS), nationally, three out of every 100 people live with a disability. Unfortunately, poverty and disability are closely linked, and PWDs are more likely to face a socio-economic disadvantage.
“2jiajiri was started to drive employment and wealth creation among our youth. Our objective to support persons living with disability is to enable them to actively participate as contributing members of society. The term youth is all inclusive in nature which is why he have started this journey with the PWDs,” added Ms Mwangi.
The initiative is in line with KCB Foundation’s resolve to implement the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which requires states to provide persons living with disability an inclusive, quality, and free primary and secondary education.