Some of the beneficiaries of Zoe Empowers Startup capital in Meru. Zoe has so far supported more than 54,000 vulnerable youth in Meru and Tharaka Nithi

By Our Reporter

More than 1800 youth have received startup capital and kits worth Sh60 million in a business incubation programme targeting orphaned and vulnerable youths.

Zoe Empowers, a non governmental organisation operating in Meru and Tharaka Nithi has been supporting child headed families and orphans through business and vocational skills training.

Speaking during the issuance of cheques and start up kits to beneficiaries on Wednesday, Zoe Empowers Global South executive officer Reagan Kaberia said the organization has supported more than 56,000 vulnerable youth since 2007. 

“Our programme seeks to empower the youth from vulnerable families with skills rather than place them in orphanages. Some have started small businesses with as little as Sh1000 enabling them to support their families,” Kaberia said.

He said the initiative is meant to end the poverty cycle in child headed and vulnerable families.

“We mentor them for three years before they are let to operate on their own. The money they receive is repaid back in a revolving fund,” he added.

Kaberia noted that many orphans and children from failed families end up dropping out of school to fend for themselves.

He called on the county government to support empowerment of vulnerable children to enhance access to education and reduce poverty levels.  

Under the initiative, beneficiaries receive skills such as beauty therapy, plumbing, masonry among others and receive capital and startup kits to venture into business.

Zoe Empowers Global South and Kenya CEO Reagan Kaberia (R) presents a cheque to some of the beneficiaries. PHOTO/Our Reporter

Kaberia noted that besides skills and business apprenticeship, the youth also form support groups through which health and social issues are addressed.

“We have been able to address issues of sexual and gender based violence, HIV/Aids, and teenage pregnancies that affect the vulnerable families. They also learn about food security,” he said.

The Zoe Global South and Kenya CEO said the programme has gained traction in Africa including Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Liberia as well as India.


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