Meet Grace, Ann, and Praxidies, three young women in Kenya who were provided with vocational training and life skills through the African Centre for Women, Information and Communications Technology.

Kenya is home to the fourth largest HIV epidemic in the world.[1] In 2016, new infections among young women (ages 15-24) were 44% higher than among young men, with poverty and gender inequality driving the epidemic.[2] The African Centre for Women, Information and Communications Technology (ACWICT), based in Nairobi, provides young women with vocational training and life skills for achieving financial independence and reducing their vulnerability to HIV.

Ann struggled to find a job in Nairobi. With only a form 4 certificate, and a seven-year-old child to take care of, she had been unable to secure work.

Ann heard about ACWICT’s DREAMS Innovation Challenge (DREAMS-IC) Vusha Girls Employability Program, which is funded by PEPFAR and managed by JSI. The program is focused on equipping vulnerable young women with employer demand-driven skills in fields like information technology (IT), food service, plumbing, and mechanics, and then linking them to jobs.

Ann decided to enroll in the training to become a Motor Vehicle Mechanic. Ann shares, “At the training, there were only three girls, and the rest were men, which made it challenging. The men believed that we weren’t good enough. Therefore, I decided to show them that I can do better than them.”

https://stories.jsi.com/empowering-young-women-in-kenya-to-be-economically-independent-and-hiv-free/