NGO issues Ksh60M startup capital, kits to 1,800 vulnerable youth

More than 1,800 youth in Meru and Tharaka Nithi counties have received startup capital and kits worth Ksh60 million in a business incubation programme by Zoe Empowers that targets orphaned and vulnerable youths.

Zoe Empowers is a non-governmental organisation that supports child headed families and orphans through business and vocational skills training.

Speaking while issuing cheques and start up kits to the beneficiaries, the organization’s executive officer Reagan Kaberia said the programme seeks to empower youth from vulnerable families with skills rather than placing them in orphanages.

He added that the organization has supported more than 56,000 vulnerable youth since 2007.

“The initiative is meant to end the poverty cycle in child headed and vulnerable families. We mentor them for three years before they are let to operate on their own. The money they receive is repaid back in a revolving fund,” he explained.

Kaberia noted that many orphans and children from failed families end up dropping out of school to fend for themselves and called upon the county government to support empowerment of vulnerable children to enhance access to education and reduce poverty levels.

Through the initiative, the beneficiaries also receive business apprenticeship and form support groups through which health and social issues are addressed.

The programme has gained traction in Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Liberia as well as India.

By John Majau

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