Without employable skills, life is simply a roller coaster of challenges and confusion. I have been there, and trust me; it is a ride nobody wants to board. My mother, the bread winner in the family, could not afford to support me through tertiary education, besides due to lack of guidance I was not sure of what field of study to purse for my career.

While soul searching, to find bearing in academics, monetary challenges at home made me very aggressive in searching for employment. However, the venture was pretty discouraging, and hopes began to dwindle as employer after employer issued regrets citing lack of employable skills. In spite of the hurdles, I was raised to never give up; and one day during my endeavors I happened to meet an official from Kiambu County Government who was mobilizing for the Vusha Youth Empowerment Program. She informed me the program is empowering the youth with employable skills and it is being offered for free. In addition, after the training, the beneficiaries of the program are placed into jobs. I was very happy to hear of this information; moreover I thirsted for digital skills that would help boost my chances of obtaining meaningful employment. I took with me an application form home, filled it in, attached the required document and took it back to the county offices.

I was amongst the youth who joined the program on the second cycle. Through the training, I have improved on my speed in typing and gained skills on computer maintenance and repair. In addition, I have also gained interpersonal skills, and discovered a new me with a new attitude in dealing with daily challenges and identifying resources and opportunities around me. The skills attained in the training and the CISCO certification have also opened up new areas of generating revenue. After the training, I secured contracts on computer maintenance from various clients. While working, I did find great satisfaction in achieving targets and knowing that the skill sets I possess are highly demanded for. Before no one turned to me for professional advice, today family and friends seek my expertise on how to tackle different kinds of computer problems they are faced with making me more confident in my abilities.

Over and above, the reading materials from the TukoWorks portal have impacted in me critical communication skills, as a result, for the first time I managed to secure employment as a sales executive with Delmonte Kenya Ltd. At work, I am able to utilize the internet in identifying qualifying leads that would help boost sales and sustain credibility in customers on the company’s products. I mainly utilized social media to inform the public of our campaign booths and encourage them to visit these areas and know more about the organization’s new products. These communication skills have also allowed me to build strong and sustainable relationships with customers who are satisfied with the services I provide. These customers have eventually become patrons leaving my bosses very happy with my work.

Having gone through the program, I am planning on starting my own kindergarten that I will introduce computer lessons to the young ones so that they start developing digital literacy skills at a tender age making them more creative in problem solving as they grow older. This will push the nation towards achieving Vision 2030 social pillar.

To the young ladies, do not waste time thinking about the past. Develop a new positive attitude to realize your life goals.

All in all, I give thanks to Rockefeller Foundation, Microsoft Corporation, and The African Centre for Women Information and Communication Technology for the employable skills and new life goals. May you continue impact on the lives of youth in the country.

Dorris Wachira, a cycle2 Vusha YEP Beneficiary and a grandate with a Cisco Certificate in ITE in the month of April 2014.