Skills for Peace
On December 17, 2010, USAID/Kenya's Mission Director, Erna Kerst, was the keynote speaker at the 3rd annual graduation ceremony for the PCEA (Presbyterian Church of East Africa) Eastleigh Community Centre (ECC) Skills Training and Entrepreneurship Development (STED) Program. Among the more than 400 graduates were 150 youth who completed training under ECC’s Skills for Peace Initiative, supported by USAID/Kenya.
Skills for Peace integrates community-based skills and entrepreneurship training with peace building initiatives. Training for economic empowerment offered under Skills for Peace encourages youth to become involved in other initiatives such as conflict resolution, peace building, governance and human rights.
Over the last decade, the STED program has equipped approximately 3,500 youth with market-oriented vocational skills such as carpentry and joinery, electrical installation and electronics, catering, hairdressing and beauty therapy, fashion and design, motor vehicle mechanics, metal work trades and ICT. STED training takes place both on-site at PCEA-ECC and within the community utilizing community entrepreneurs as trainers. These highly practical courses take one year or less to complete and serve to enhance the relevance of youths’ skills in a competitive environment. Out of those trained under STED, 75% are already employed in various fields (either formally or through self-employment). Through STED, PCEA-ECC plans to empower 7,200 youth with relevant skills in the next three years.