It’s no secret that the youth form a large part of the society in Kenya. How many times have we heard stories about the youth who had so much potential to be better and to do better, ending up in activities that compromise their futures? Some fall prey to early marriages, while others are lured into high-risk activities or start taking drugs. This is more likely to happen in the year following high school graduation, where young people await to continue with their higher education and explore different career options.
To further accentuate the long-term implications of such high-risk coping mechanisms, Kenya has been ranked as the third-highest country for new HIV infections among young people in the East and Central African regions combined. Where lower academic performance in High School closes out the possibility for higher education via scholarships or government loan programs that guarantee continuity of schooling, already disadvantaged youth are left with no other alternative but to turn to these risky coping mechanisms as their only tangible means for survival.
For this and other reasons, The Good Kenyan Foundation was born, precisely four years ago. The organization mentors empower and equip high school graduates in a four-month program where the youth are taught marketable job skills and career development plans as a launching pad into an actionable self-driven future.
The outstanding thing about The Good Kenyan Foundation is that they also preach sustainability, not just in word but also in action. The platform is designed to economically empower beneficiaries by making hand-made products using recycled materials that are sold through various individual and corporate markets.
How does this work? The curriculum applies a mix of learning methods including classroom-style training, individualized mentorship and coaching, internship or entry-level job placement, and community volunteerism.
Some of the training modules include Information communication and technology (ICT), personal finance management and planning, entrepreneurship and business development, life skills, craft making, career selection, and work exposure.
The principles at The Good Kenyan Foundation highlight the centre pillar of mentorship. Good Kenyan connects volunteer mentors of good standing in the Kenyan society with our young and vulnerable youth to invest in their personal growth and transform their life trajectory. Why is this kind of mentorship important? It addresses the poverty-related psychological barriers of self-worth and self-efficacy. Mentorship becomes the pathway through which our youth can visualize and act on a plan for their futures. It provides tangible practice, skill-building, psychological preparation, and empowerment that cannot be accessed in a standard classroom alone.
In three years of operation, the Good Kenyan model is bearing fruit and demonstrating proof of concept. 120 youth have undergone the program transitioning to Universities, colleges, entry-level jobs, or starting and running micro-enterprises.
Despite this, the Good Kenyan foundation has faced a few challenges, especially due to the pandemic that led to a rise in cash flows that support the non-profit program. The program is run through well-wishers grants and donations, which is facilitated during an ‘annual party for a good cause.’ This event has not taken place in the last two years due to the pandemic.
However, all is not lost. In a bid to think outside the box, the fundraising committee made up of volunteers came up with the brilliant idea of reaching out to brands to donate products that were curated into different themes. These are being sold to be able to raise funds. By contributing to the Birthday Box, you could change someone’s life by enabling them to reap the benefits of The Good Kenyan Foundation. 100% of the profit will be used to equip, mentor, and empower youth from vulnerable backgrounds.
The Birthday Box is aimed at selling boxes donated by brands to support the Good Kenyan youth set to join cohort 10. There are three types of Birthday Boxes: The Coffee Box, The Whiskey Box, and The Tea Box.
The Whiskey Box contains a bottle of Glenfiddich (12 years), stainless steel ice cubes, a whiskey glass, and peanuts by Tropical Heat. All this goes for 6,500 Kenya shillings.
The Coffee Box contains a packet of coffee from Dormans Coffee, a branded mug, a jar of cookies from Sugar Baked Ltd, and a jar of honey from Marigat Gold. All this goes for 3,000 Kenya shillings.
Lastly, The Tea Box contains a packet of assorted flavoured teas from Kericho Gold, a Good Kenyan branded mug, a jar of cookies by Java House Africa, a jar of honey from Marigat Gold, and a bag of crisps from Tropical Heat. All this goes for 2,950 Kenya shillings.
Through the month of June they will be selling these items to raise funds for the incoming cohort 10.Grab one for yourself or get a gift for a loved one and not only will you be putting a smile on their faces but also helping shape the future of these young men #SupportGoodKenyan pic.twitter.com/Hz5ZTGYskw
— Lav on the Fairway (@AsegoLav) June 10, 2021
If you wish to donate to this great Good Kenyan cause, contact them through the number 0793 642 707. Find more details on their website
Want to find out the importance of mentorship? Here’s an article you may find useful – From Upstart To Jumpstart: Investing In The Youth