Kenya Connect: Pen Pal, School Sponsorship, and Skills for the Workplace Programs
Kenya Connect manages three programs: the Pen Pal program, the School Sponsorship program, and the Skills for the Workplace program, targeting children from as early as kindergarten to 12th grade in public primary and secondayr schools. The first two programs — Pen Pal and School Sponsorship — have been in existence for 10 years and both aim to foster in students an early appreciation of the power of intercultural dialogue and philanthropy and to give real resonance to the educational lesson at hand.
Background on Skills for Work
Just over half of the world’s population is under the age of 30, with almost 90 percent living in low- and middle- income countries— particularly in Africa and the Middle East. In 2012, countries in Sub-Saharan Africa had the youngest population in the world, with more than 70 percent of their population below 30. This demographic divide can be an asset for developing economies, but such disproportions also raise challenges. For many of these emerging nations, booming youth populations are not receiving the skills they need to compete in the current labor market. The result can be seen in countries like South Africa, where the youth unemployment rate climbs past 53 percent.
To tackle this issue, many education programs around the world have developed effective strategies to equip teenagers and young adults with the training and skills necessary for work. The Center for Education Innovations (CEI) has identified more than 130 such programs.
Click below to read our Database-at-a-Glance report and find highlights from seven common approaches & characteristics across ECD models. Learn about programs focusing on:
1) General skills curricula for workforce trainings
2) Targeted skills development for certain trades
3) Emphasizing science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM)
4) Providing career guidance, support, and mentoring
5) Partnering with local businesses
6) Awarding funding for business ventures
7) Reaching marginalized youth through skills development and vocational training