Seed of Hope is Vision Africa’s vocational training programme with four centres located in Nairobi, Kisii, Kitui and Murang’a.
80% of Seed of Hope’s student population are girls, the majority of whom have not had the opportunity to attend secondary school. Seed of Hope works with destitute young people who have been exposed to high-risk situations including child marriage, child prostitution, familial abuse and extreme poverty. Students can access counselling and training in life skills, business skills and vocational skills including fashion design, motor vehicle mechanics, hair and beauty therapy, basic computer packages and homecare management. Courses vary in length from 6 months to 2 years. The comprehensive syllabus equips students with the knowledge, practical skills and confidence they require to work towards independence and a self-reliant future. Students are granted training and counselling free of charge on the basis of the difficult circumstances from which they come.
After the completion of training Seed of Hope facilitates the launch of small businesses for graduates. “Roots” is managed by Seed of Hope and offers partial funding, consultation and support for the new businesses. During the latter half of their training, students are encouraged to generate some of the funds required to set up their business using the skills they have learnt. This encourages them to take responsibility for their future and for the success of their businesses. Through the establishment of their own small business, graduates are empowered to support themselves and their families and to reach out to their communities. This not only gives graduates a sense of achievement and enhanced self-esteem, it also helps break the vicious cycles of poverty and dependency.
In March 2014 called the “Dhamira Hub” was established at the Nairobi Seed of Hope centre. This incubation hub is a fully kitted out workshop with manual and industrial sewing machines. From this base, graduates can start their small business under close supervision and benefit from mentorship from individuals from the local community who work in the field of enterprise.
Since 2002 Seed of Hope has witnessed more than 1,000 young people graduate from the programme:
“I am a young girl with my own business so people respect me. I provide for my family and take care of my parents’ needs.” (Sylvia, 2012 graduate)
- 93% struggled with access to education before Seed of Hope
- 68% had no regular employment
- 79% are employed or self employed
- 97% say they have been empowered
- 69% are supporting their family (on average those supporting family support 3 family members. Graduates have paid for siblings education, paid for sick relatives in hospital and have even built homes for their families)
- 30% have gone on to train others (an average of 3 people each)
Source: Impact Assessment Jan 2013 (227 graduate interviews)
This demonstrates that as a result of Seed of Hope, graduates are not just improving their own quality of life but also the quality of life for their families and communities.