SKILL DEVELOPMENT

4,000 Nairobi youth graduate in various certificate courses

Graduands were 5th cohort of International Youth Fellowship Free Weekend Academy.

In Summary
  • The graduation ceremony was graced by Youth CS Ababu Namwamba and various state officials, private actors and IYF partners among other guests.
  • Namwamba lauded International Youth Fellowship East Africa region chairman Reverend Yohan Kim for "positively impacting the lives of Kenyan youths".
Youth CS Ababu Namwamba being received by a group of entertainers during the International Youth Fellowship Free Weekend Academy's 5th graduation ceremony at the institution's headquarters in Nairobi on June 15, 2024.
Youth CS Ababu Namwamba being received by a group of entertainers during the International Youth Fellowship Free Weekend Academy's 5th graduation ceremony at the institution's headquarters in Nairobi on June 15, 2024.
Image: GEORGE OWITI

Over 4,000 youths have graduated with certificates in 27 short courses offered by the International Youth Fellowship Free Weekend Academy.

The graduands were the Academy's fifth cohort who had successfully completed their respective courses as per the institution's curriculum.

The courses took three months to complete.

The graduation ceremony was graced by Youth CS Ababu Namwamba and various state officials, private actors, IYF partners, among others at the NGO's headquarters in Nairobi on Saturday.

Namwamba lauded International Youth Fellowship East Africa region chairman Reverend Yohan Kim for what he termed positively impacting the lives of Kenyan youths through the programme.

"We gather here today to celebrate a significant milestone for a new cohort of graduates and empowerment agenda of the International Youth Fellowship, a key partner with us in youth empowerment," Namwamba said.

Namwamba said IYF begun with a visionary dream of Reverend Ock Soo Park who aspired for youth to sleep in happiness and wake up with hope.

"Just as the star shines through the darkness, the youth of IYF are destined to become bright stars that illuminate the world," Namwamba said.

Youth CS Ababu Namwamba awards a certificate to a graduand during the International Youth Fellowship Free Weekend Academy's 5th graduation ceremony at the institution's headquarters in Nairobi on June 15, 2024.
Youth CS Ababu Namwamba awards a certificate to a graduand during the International Youth Fellowship Free Weekend Academy's 5th graduation ceremony at the institution's headquarters in Nairobi on June 15, 2024.
Image: GEORGE OWITI

He said while Kenya may still be in pursuit of achieving 100 per cent in empowerment projection, this doesn't prevent society from empowering young people to achieve that target.

"It's evident that my ministry can't achieve this alone and that's why I applaud the collective efforts of like-minded stakeholders including NGOs, donors and partners in private sector that are all contributing in pursuit of this. This is where IYF programmes play an absolutely pivotal role," Namwamba said.

The CS noted that IYF Free Weekend Academy stands as a beacon of youth empowerment and a hub for skills training and capacity building.

"It's primarily to develop skills, enhance employability and promote self employment and entrepreneurship among the youth," Namwamba said.

He said with government's recognition of prior learning, graduates were able to refine their skills, generate income and save towards obtaining National Industrial Training Authority (NITA) certification.

"I urge you to seize this opportunity to advance yourselves, add value to your training and experience as our mantra states 'Talanta Hela'".

Namwamba said the Youth Empowerment Academy with state support from the Youth ministry is deliberate and intentional in equipping youths with vital skills geared towards their socio-economic independence.

"The graduation of over 4,000 today is a testament to this fact," Namwamba said.

"On the other hand, the invitation of Affirmative Funds and agencies dealing in youth initiatives and stakeholders, having conversations and opportunities beyond graduation is absolutely a strategic move," he added.

Youth CS Ababu Namwamba receives a gift from students during the International Youth Fellowship Free Weekend Academy's 5th graduation ceremony at the institution's headquarters in Nairobi on June 15, 2024.
Youth CS Ababu Namwamba receives a gift from students during the International Youth Fellowship Free Weekend Academy's 5th graduation ceremony at the institution's headquarters in Nairobi on June 15, 2024.
Image: GEORGE OWITI

The CS announced that Season six of the IYF Free Weekend Academy will commence on June 22, 2024.

He said the overwhelming number of participants and readiness of trainers to impact knowledge and practical skills is commendable.

"I love commitment and selfless service to the youth of Kenya," Namwamba said.

He said there are countless individuals who have benefited from IYF programmes and its sister organizations as it marks its 30th anniversary since inception in 1994.

The CS said his ministry was committed to collaborating with IYF in building youths' capacity, the heartbeat of the country.

"I extend my own gratitude, that of the government and of the people of Kenya to Reverend Park for his visionary leadership and investment in our youth. With the grace bestowed on me to handle the great responsibility of nurturing our young people, I look forward to expanding our reach to across the country including those in our rural areas," Namwamba said.

The IYF Free Weekend Academy director Evans Mutiga said their programmes were cognizant of policy on Recognition of Prior Learning.

"While we think about IYF Weekend Academy, this is the main joint where we are able to impact. Education is a basic right and in this right, everyone, regardless of their societal status, needs a chance to get education and also finance themselves, excell and become successful like others," Mutiga said.

He said the short courses in which the youth graduated with certificates include electrical, cosmetology, tailoring, ICT, graphic and design, hospitality, photography and videography, among others.

"For the last three months we have been teaching them three things; what they have been learning in their classes as basic courses, mind education and the word of God," he said.

"We believe that these combinations are bringing out a holistic person who can be able to go out in any place and do their best, excel and uplift Kenyan economy," Mutiga said.

Reverend Yohan Kim said he takes the youth through Chaplin classes every Sunday.

"How to also apply the word of God in your life as well as mindset training," Kim said.

"When I look at myself, I didn't have any dream. But starting from one point, I found myself changing," he added.

Kim said his father was a pastor and missionary in the US.

"My parents sent me to Korea to attend a camp hosted by IYF. When I attended the same camp for the third year, I heard the word of God and received mindset training from Reverend Park and found myself changing from heart naturally. After meeting with IYF, I'm here in Kenya, 16 years, as IYF champion," Kim said.

Kim said he was using life experience to run and manage IYF in Kenya.

He said the IYF Free Weekend Academy had adequate facilities, state of art equipment and qualified tutors.

Kim said based on his life experience, he had realised that it's not only the skills and training that transform people's lives.

"Yes, training and education is important. But, also if our students, young people and youth of Kenya, can also learn how to connect their hearts together with Jesus Christ, their lives will never be the same again," Kim said.

Kim said they currently offer 27 different courses in 20 branches across the country.

He said they are committed to rolling out the programme to all the 47 counties for all youth in the regions to benefit.

"In 6th, 7th and 8th graduations going forward, we are praying that we start this academy in every county and city so that not only our youth and young people in Nairobi can benefit from it, but nationally," Kim said.

Youth CS Ababu Namwamba with graduands during the International Youth Fellowship Free Weekend Academy's 5th graduation ceremony at the institution's headquarters in Nairobi on June 15, 2024.
Youth CS Ababu Namwamba with graduands during the International Youth Fellowship Free Weekend Academy's 5th graduation ceremony at the institution's headquarters in Nairobi on June 15, 2024.
Image: GEORGE OWITI
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