“My story is that of a vision, empowerment and achievement; a success story”, says Paul Mwai, a beneficiary of the Archdiocese Youth Empowerment Programme.
The Archdiocese Youth Empowerment Programme (AYEP) is a partnership between Caritas Nairobi (Catholic Archdiocese of Nairobi) and the Youth Enterprise Development Fund (YEDF). The programme centers on initiatives that engage and empower young people for social and economic development. Caritas Nairobi works as a link between the youth groups and YEDF
Mwai, 22 years old, wrote his Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education in 2012 and attained a mean grade of B- which qualified him to enroll for University Education. However, he was unable join as planned due to financial constrains.
“Since I was unable to join university as planned, I decided to start a business. I joined a youth group in my parish, St. Teresa’s Parish Eastleigh. With help from well-wishers specifically contribution from our Jumuiya (fellowship group) we were able to start a placard designing business,” He says.
It is through his parish that this group learnt about AYEP. Caritas Nairobi works with parishes to facilitate community based empowerment and poverty eradication projects. Caritas Nairobi engages the youth by mobilizing them for peacekeeping missions as well as training on business startup skills.
Mwai and his friends felt the need to expand their business to merchandize branding. In order to access funding from YEDF, they registered the group (St.Vincent De Paul Youth Self Help Group) under the Government’s Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Development with Ksh.1. 000. The group presented a business plan, which received funding of Ksh.50, 000.
Currently, St.Vincent Group generates a monthly income of between Ksh7, 000 and Ksh10, 000 per month. During the recent AYEP second anniversary the group received a second cheque of Ksh. 200, 000. A total of five groups were funded at the same event.
“The success in our story is a vision that was empowered by Caritas Nairobi and YEDF.”