Wittenborg's New Project: Vijana Reloaded to Boost Training Among Unemployed Youth in Kenya
Wittenborg University recently introduced a new project within Kenya to be called: Vijana Reloaded. This interesting development project focuses on training youth in Kenya in the areas of entrepreneurship, ICT and social entrepreneurship.
Wittenborg's Chief of the Executive Board, Peter Birdsall, said Wittenborg's involvement adds to the university's already strong commitment to developing education for and in Africa. A steady stream of African students continue to study and graduate at Wittenborg University each year. The Vijana Reloaded project was introduced at Wittenborg Amsterdam last week during the launch of Wittenborg's new book "Whisky Burn - the Highlands and Islands by Vespa". It was attended by more than 100 guests.
The company behind the project is the ProPortion Foundation, which self-incubates social enterprises in different phases. Vijana Reloaded is one of the enterprises. It empowers youth between the ages of 18-28 in rural Kenya by boosting their income, productivity and contribution to social-economic development through 6-month traineeships in entrepreneurship that leverages on ICT applications and the agri-business sector.
The director of the Proportion Foundation, Thomas Schuurmans, said he hopes the involvement of Wittenborg students will lead to an exchange of ideas and information with students in Kenya, and opportunities exist for possible internships in Kenya. "It is also about building relationships and a professional network as well as fundraising initiatives." Since September this year Wittenborg Amsterdam offers an IBA in Entrepreneurship & Small Business with students from all over the world, including Africa.
Schuurmans said the youth unemployment rate in Kenya grew at an alarming rate from 12% in 2006 to about 42% currently. Of further concern is that 70% of the unemployed are between the ages of 15 and 35 years old. "The traditional curriculum of schools in Kenya doesn't cater for creativity, entrepreneurship and ICT. A teacher broadcasts the content and students reproduce it. "In Kenya food security is thought to be in danger because there is also low agricultural activity. Schuurman's foundation believes smart new technologies can boost production and access to markets.
by Anesca Smith
©Wittenborg University Press