Addressing Youth Unemployment & Environmental Pollution

By: Dalton Wycliffe Odhiambo, Education & Livelihoods Program Officer, CFK 

Owned and managed by young people, Victorious Craft Group community was formed in 2015 by three youth leaders in an effort to address environmental pollution and combat the high unemployment rate among youth in Kibera. The group repurposes waste bones sourced from butcheries and slaughter houses into products such as necklaces, bracelets, earrings, hair clips, bowls, salad spoons, and tea spoons, among others. Youth receive free training on how to make and assemble the products from raw bones, and profits from the sale of items help young people address economic challenges within their households.  

Victorious Craft Group’s workforce includes young men and women from multiple Kibera villages, enabling the group to raise awareness about responsible waste management and address issues of sustainable environmental management. Thanks to support through Carolina for Kibera’s (CFK) Entrepreneurship and Economic Development (EED) program, the group’s products have a wide market, which includes the local community anwholesalers buying and selling in various locations throughout Kenya and around the world. Victorious Craft Group is now a registered business and has filed with the Government of Kenya under the Ministry of Gender and Social Services. 

CFK Young man making products
CFK products from Victorious Craft Group

Connecting with CFK

After hearing about how the EED program had supported groups throughout the Kibera community, Victorious Craft Group approached CFK and learned that they could access training on information technology, business development, and financial literacy as well as networking and mentorship opportunities and work readiness initiatives that prepare youth for employment. They also discovered that the program partnered with local businesses and employers to create a network for talent and vocational skills development. 

Following the initial meeting with CFK, the Victorious Craft Group scheduled time for all of its members to learn more about the EED program and participate in training on leadership, financial literacy, life skills, employability skills, and business development. Participants were also linked to various opportunities throughout the community, including a microfinance institution. Through the connections, Victorious Craft Group took out a loan which it used to buy more grinders for its workshop. That purchase led to increased production and job creation, allowing more young people to become self-reliant individuals in the community. 

Currently, the group employs 20 young people who pay their bills and often provide for their families with the income generated from selling handcrafts. According to the group’s leadership, this growth would have not been realized without the mentorship and support provided by CFK. 

We invite more youth groups, community-based organizations, and individuals to organize themselves and access the opportunities being offered by CFK regardless of your gender, race, and tribe. Our ability to handle life’s challenges is a measure of our strength of character.  

To connect with us, about EED opportunities, please email media@carolinaforkibera.org.  

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