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Youth Empowerment

Population growth and high unemployment rates in the Mara are making it very difficult for youth to secure employment.

Our youth programme works with 18-35 year olds who, unless they have bought or inherited land, are landless. In a pastoral community, being landless is leading to an identity crisis for this youth and is resulting in them turning to alcohol, drugs and gambling on their phones is now a big problem with youth in the Mara. Through research we have identified training and employment as a key way to break youth out of this cycle that they are in.

The Maa Trust is empowering youth and assisting them to secure employment through career guidance and vocational training.

The Maa Trust is working with employers and partners in the Maasai Mara and internationally to develop a wide variety of vocational training opportunities for youth, which will be taught from the new Maa Vocational Training Centre. This will include digital literacy through the International Driving Licence curriculum.

Through the DIKU vocational training grant managed by Maasai Mara Wildlife Conservancies Association (MMWCA), 579 Maa Beadwork members plus 158 members of Basecamp Maasai Brand beading group are being upskilled in beading techniques over a three year period.

In 2018 we launched Maa Bricks social enterprise which has trained 38 Maasai young men how to make compressed soil bricks. Having completed the first pilot structure, Maa Bricks is currently producing bricks for The Maa Trust’s Community Empowerment Hub and during this construction process, the youth will learn masonry and other construction skills.

For young people who have been fortunate enough to go to secondary school, we are introducing career guidance. Career guidance has never been done in the Maasai Mara before. The Maa Trust organizes career guidance in schools whereby professionals who have excelled in their career are invited to talk to the children about their job, and how they got to their current position. The idea behind this is to show the children that youth from this local area can excel, and introduce new careers that they may not have considered.

One-on-one career guidance will also be provided in the new Vocational Training Centre whereby a counsellor will work with young people to help them to identify their desired career, and secure the training required for that career. Post-training, youth can access free guidance counselling on CV and cover letter writing, interview preparation and work-readiness skills, again at the Vocational Training Centre.

By the Numbers

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38

youth trained in brick production

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700

youth annually reached with career guidance

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80%

current unemployment rate for Maasai Youth