International Transformation Foundation (ITF) 1 slum 100 Computers Project

Eastern Nairobi slums have deep-rooted unemployment and security issues due to the growing sense of alienation felt by young men and women dropping out of schools to join gangs, where violence and drug addiction is part of their everyday life due to poverty and unemployment.
Kubwimana launched the 1 Slum 100 Computers Project, where within 6 months ITF provided free computer and entrepreneurship training, and mentoring, to 30 youths, divided into 3 groups of 10 members each. They were taught computer applications and designed a profitable computer-based business. Upon completion, they receive a capital loan not exceeding KES 250 000 to set up the designed business. By creating more job opportunities, ITF is refashioning Eastern Nairobi slums into a powerhouse of opportunities by providing jobs and opportunities to grow, as well as curbing insecurity given that when youths become skilled professional business owners they don’t feel the need to engage in immoral activities.

CAMPAIGN OBJECTIVES

Curbing youth unemployment in Eastern Nairobi slums.

HOW THE OBJECTIVES WERE ACHIEVED

The Project was inaugurated in November 2014. Class 1 has successfully graduated, which had 3 youth groups and started their businesses (cyber cafes). Class 2 is in progress with 2 youth groups.

CAMPAIGN INNOVATIONS

Young people have plenty to block out…often through self-destructive behavior but with the advent of social media, we observed an alternative addiction of youth – their obsession with technology, a craze that connects them with others rather than alienates them. That’s how we came up with the 1 Slum 100 Computers project to harness the hope and stickiness of this connection. The 1 Slum 100 Computer Project has established technology as the new way helping youth to help themselves in Eastern Nairobi slums instead of dropping out of school to join gangs, with violence and drug addiction as part of their everyday live, just as in millions of communities around the world where the future seems dark because of poverty and unemployment.

CAMPAIGN IMPACT

- About 24 528 people in Kariobangi slums and have The campaign has provided the community access to the Internet and other cyber café services at affordable prices, through the start-up businesses of the 1 Slum 100 computers graduates.
- 48 youths have received computer and entrepreneurship training so far.
- 6 youths have full time jobs at livable wages (through 1 Slum 100 computers graduates' businesses).

CHALLENGES FACED

Lack of Local (eastern Nairobi slums) mentor: each group participating in the program is paired with 2 mentors (a community based and another from any location) who are experienced business persons with diverse general business experience. However it’s almost impossible to find such people in Eastern Nairobi slums.

LESSONS LEARNT

- When youth in slums become skilled professional business owners they don’t feel the need to engage in immoral activities, like selling/ taking drugs, robbery etc.
- Youths become self reliable by becoming less involved in other activities that are not directly connected to their business and thereby ensure its continuity.
- The current business owners (project graduates) train other youths in their slum on ICT and business skills they have acquired, thereby reducing the number of youths who are idle.
- Reducing low self esteem in, and withdrawal by, the youth because the learning process is so involving and intensive, making the participants more confident once they start their own businesses. This helps them become leaders in the making and good examples to the rest of the youth.
- The project graduates become role models in the community, prompting other youths to emulate them.