Eric Macho Juma, is a partial orphan raised by a single mother, who was a peasant farmer. Financial constrains were a big challenge for the family such that having basic needs seemed luxurious. After completing his primary education, Eric made the decision to give his siblings a chance to continue with their studies as he looked for sources of earning an income to support the family.
To kick-start his venture, he sold the family’s goat to start a course in electrical installation at one of the local vocational training center, but he still could not complete his studies due to lack of school fees. Defeated, he went back home to assist his mother in working on people’s farms.
At home the future looked miserable, because not once did he ever think that an opportunity to go back to school would arise. But fate has its own ways, one day at a friend’s funeral the area chief made an announcement about the Ngazi Youth Empowerment Program, and since he desired to acquire vocational skills, the announcement was like a miracle! At the time, he had changed his mind from pursuing electrical to motor vehicle mechanics. This is because from his personal observation the number of people joining transport business in the town had greatly increased, and so he saw an opportunity for so many of them would need their vehicles or motor cycles serviced.
He made his application, went through the screening process, and eventually he was successfully enrolled into the program to undertake a course in motor vehicle mechanics. He made good use of the time spent in class, always spending extra hours in school and constantly consulting with his teachers. When he completed the first two months of his training, he secured employment at a local garage and driven by the need to support others back home, Eric deferred. At work the life skills earned in the program played a great role in facilitating a smooth dealing with customers and managing relations at work place, and soon he developed a network of customers who only wanted to be served by him.
On a good day he makes approximately Ksh. 1500 while on a not so good day he makes Ksh. 500, the earnings have allowed him to support his younger brother through school, and also support his mother. He recently bought her a piece of land so that she can start working on her own farm and get more from her produce.
“My life has gotten a new direction, and I have learnt that to succeed, young people require patience and confident,” he says.
Eric has since gone back to school and completed his course. Today he runs his own garage and has even employed some of his classmates.