Vusha Girls Employability Program(VGEP) 2.0
‘Vusha’ is a Kiswahili word for transition. Vusha Girls Employability Program is a demand-driven workforce development program that builds the knowledge, skills, and attitudes that young women need to obtain and participate in productive work. It is intended to improve employment prospects and income-generating capacities for 15,000 young women aged 19-24 years, whose socioeconomic circumstances heighten their vulnerability to and risk of HIV infection.
The VGEP concept was piloted with funding from the US Department of State, Office of Global AIDS Coordinator (OGAC), through the DREAMS Innovation Challenge between October 2016 and March 2019 and completed with success. The program targeted 1,000 young women aged 19-24 years from the fishing bays in Siaya, Homabay, Kisumu counties; and informal settlements in Nairobi, Kenya.
The young women were equipped with digital and vocational skills; Entrepreneurship and life-skills coupled with job placement support. In addition, the young women were trained on HIV transmission and associated risk factors and referred to HIV testing and counselling services as well as Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) services.
1,195 Young women (119.5% of life of project – LOP – target) were reached through the intervention.
112% young women aged 19-24 completed USG-assisted workforce development programs. Of these 505 (45%) were from Nairobi County whereas 617 (55%) were from Kisumu, Homa Bay and Siaya Counties.
824 of the 1005 AGYW reached through a tracer survey confirmed to have found better economic opportunities, including higher paying jobs through ACWICT’s employer network (with average monthly income of KES 10,000-20,000), or self-employment.
980/1122 completed a standardized HIV prevention intervention including the minimum components during the reporting period.
392/689 young women aged 19-24 completed referrals for various clinical service (s).
Employed in male-dominated fields like auto mechanics, electrical, electronics, masonry, plumbing, and information and communication technologies, or established businesses of their own.