Hand in Hand Eastern Africa (HiH EA)
Established in 2010
Hand in Hand Eastern Africa (HiH EA) is registered in Kenya as a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) with mandate to operate within the Eastern Africa region. It is a member of the Hand in Hand Global Network that comprises affiliated organizations that mutually pursue the shared goal of poverty alleviation while supporting poorer communities to create sustainable jobs and enterprises.
Hand in Hand eastern Africa recognizes the need to promote entrepreneurship as a means to alle-viation of poverty .Youth have been the most affected by the high levels of unemployment due to the scarcity of employment opportunities amidst the growing population. It is also very important to recognize the importance of the young people as the future generation and as the leaders of tomorrow by taking a deliberate effort to prepare them for their future roles as parents, role mod-els, bread winners managers, politicians, farmers religious leaders, policy makers and policy execu-tors, communities, leaders of all types as well as mature individuals and who will help shape the destiny of the generations after them.
With this in mind, we cannot afford to bury our heads in the sand and ignore our role in shaping the destiny of the generations to come. The Government should developed policies aimed at promot-ing youth and entrepreneurship as a means to creating employment opportunities among the Youth/ young women. There are also very many organizations and development partners that have continued to invest into youth focused programs that are aimed at encouraging youth into partak-ing into entrepreneurship as an alternative to employment.
The big question remains as to why no tangible outcome can be seen from all these efforts after many organizations, government and development partners continue to invest into youth. In the meantime, many African countries continue to witness a lot of wastage of talents and potential of the youth through the massive abuse of liquor and substances, crime gangs, radicalization of youth into terror gangs, inability to start and sustain stable families, reliance on their aging parents instead of taking care of their aged parents, many broken families among the very many other social decay. The situation is becoming desperate and calls for desperate measures.
Solution and innovation
Hand in Hand’s job creation model was developed to focus on a younger age category than Hand in Hand normally works with, in order to help steer Kenya away from the dangerous path of growing instability which is much caused by the absence of hope and means of income generation for young people.
Innovative components in the project include the creation of fun and engaging Business Clubs; an online micro lending platform in order for individual lenders in Sweden and other countries to lend microloans to the entrepreneurs in this project; a mobile banking service to facilitate access to microloans for young entrepreneurs; and the new Hand in Hand Youth Award in the project where the winners will showcase their businesses at the annual fair of Ung Företagsamhet in Stockholm.
The Hand in Hand youth project originates from a sustainability perspective: the fact that the door to the job market must be unlocked for young people in order to deactivate the ticking bomb constituted by the ever growing number of jobless youths.
This project therefore sets out to work on two levels. Firstly, to provide young people with permanent tools (motivation and skills) to build better lives for themselves and their future families. Secondly, to improve the conditions for entrepreneurship by raising the status of self-employment in Kenya and integrating vocational skills and entrepreneurship training in the school system
Throughout the project, Hand in Hand promote inclusion, enhanced tolerance and understanding by actively targeting youths with different ethnic and religious backgrounds. After the three year pilot of the Hand in hand youth project , the ambition is to turn the HiHYP into a permanent programme within Hand in Hand and a model which eventually can be scaled up and replicated in other countries facing similar societal problems as Kenya.
MAKING ARCHITECTURAL DESIGNS USING OLD CARTONS
Patrick Mutinda Charles aged 25 completed his O levels but could not continue with his education due to lack of fees. He comes from a poor family and has been brought up by a single parent. According to him, life has not been easy. However, Patrick has always dreamt big since his childhood. He joined HiH EA in December 2015 and says that digital marketing was his favorite topic during training.
“I saw that a lot of litter lying around our homes and this was such an eye sore. Used cartons, papers and bottles thrown all over made me sick. So I thought I would do something with these used materials to eke out a living as well as make the environment around me clean. That’s when I decided to collect and buy used cartons to make architectural designs, success cards, wall hangings, flowers and slippers."
Patrick buys one carton at KES 5 and uses it to make architectural prototypes that his clients use to develop architectural designs for their homes and churches.
He does with so much ease and expertise though he has never stepped in an architectural class. His is an inborn talent. For clients who want an architectural prototype he charges KES 5,000;
whilst for the success cards he charges one at KES 100. For the wall hangings he sells one at KES 200. In a month, he rakes in KES 10,000. He uses this money to expand his poultry business by buying more hens and feeds. Patrick now plans to save more money and build a museum where people can come view and learn more on how to make traditional artifacts (traditional cultural houses of different communities in Kenya). He uses his facebook page (Patty arts) as well as the marketing platform OLX to market his products.