PlantVillage has partnered with the Ustadi Foundation in the Jobs Open for the Youth (JOY) project to create employment opportunities on a wage or through self-employment for rural youth in Kilifi County.
The project will see the organization absorb four interns for a three-month internship period. The interns will be trained on various courses and soft skills depending on their area of specialization to equip them with the necessary skills to compete in the job market.
Recently, PlantVillage Dream Team members in Kilifi North Sub-County interacted with Ustadi Foundation officials and representatives from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and PROCASUR at Roka. The team was sensitized on various activities, including agroforestry practices and the use of the PlantVillage Nuru App in climate change mitigation.
Speaking during the engagement, Mr. Eric Njue from the Ustadi Foundation said that the project is funded by IFAD in partnership with the International Labor Organization (ILO), with the lead partner being PROCASUR.
"Three hubs have been formed in different parts of Kenya, including Kilifi, Kakamega, and Nakuru counties, to facilitate training programs," he said.
Mr. Njue added that the implementation of the project involves engaging private sector partners through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to create job opportunities for 1,250 youths in Kenya.
"We engaged with PlantVillage as one of our potential partners that employs young people to provide more opportunities for youth based in Kilifi County," he said.
He also noted that the project will co-fund 50 percent of the internship onboarding process, while Plantvillage caters for the remaining 50 percent.
"A short curriculum has been developed for soft skills engagement, therefore current employees in Kilifi will undergo a capacity building program," added Mr. Njue.
PlantVillage Kilifi County lead, Mercilyn Tsuma, embraced the project, noting that it will ensure knowledge transfer to Kilifi staff and build capacity in various skills.
"The support we will get from the internship program will improve our outreach programs, whereby we will be able to train more farmers in the region," she added.
She also noted that the four interns will support the organization’s goal of empowering youth by tasking them with various agricultural responsibilities.
JOY is a three-year pilot project that began in 2021. In Kenya, the project has created 33 internship opportunities with various private sectors. The private sector has committed to providing 25 employment opportunities to youth.