Jacobs Ladder Africa

Makueni Project Hits the Ground Running

Jacob’s Ladder Africa hit the ground running after the MoU sign off with the Makueni County Government on the 18th of January 2024. The Development Program’s team rolled out its first outreach and promotion activity under the Aquaculture programme in Wote, Makueni County on 14th February, 2024. The youth that took part in the sensitization programme were those that are  Not in Employment not in Education and Training (NEET), from Wote and Kaiti sub-counties, which were selected for the project pilot. A total of 32 youth inclusive of two persons with disability (PWD) attended the full-day program at Wote Green Park. Marceline Obuya, JLA Co-Founder, facilitated the program and began by asking the participants to identify and list out issues they perceived as youth in Makueni County were facing. Numerous  challenges were enumerated including: a mindset that deemed agriculture as being for the old and uneducated, and takes long to make returns. Other issues highlighted include: a lack of capital, money to purchase project inputs, lack of self-drive and laziness among the youth, high dependence on parents, insufficient infrastructure, limiting beliefs and cultural practices, among others. 

Marceline reiterated the importance of understanding one’s identity, the unique positioning that the youth hold, as well as the need for reframed mindsets. She also explored entrepreneurship, climate change, and aquaculture management with the youth.

Mr. Boniface Mutinga, County Youth Director from the Department of Gender, Children, Youth, Sports and Social Service attended the afternoon session and addressed various aspects of climate change. Ms. Josephine Makumbi, the County Fisheries Officer and Mr. James Musili educated the youth on aquaculture. Mr. Justus Mwakavi, the County Youth Coordinator for Agribusiness addressed various questions from the youth.  The three officers in attendance represented the Department of Agriculture, Irrigation, Livestock, Fisheries and Cooperative Development.

We were also privileged to have Engineer Peter Mumo, Minister of Gender, Children, Youth, Sports and Social Service, meet the youth. He engaged the youth and guaranteed the full commitment of the county government to support the achievement of the programme’s set objectives.  

The programme continued on the next day and consisted of participants from various wards in Mbooni sub-county.  The youth in attendance were sensitized on identity, the unique position of the youth, reframed mindsets, entrepreneurship, climate change, and aquaculture. In both sub-counties, group sessions were held and the youth were given the opportunity to describe the issues that currently affect them. 

The session revealed that in Mbooni sub-county, youth struggle with drug and substance abuse, leading to depression. Other challenges articulated include lack of government intervention, poor leadership, lack of water, among others. A total of 37 youth attended this sensitization session facilitated by Marceline Obuya. Three county officers from the department of Agriculture, Irrigation, Livestock, Fisheries and Cooperative Development attended the session. The County Fisheries Officer educated the youth on aquaculture while the County Youth Coordinator, Agribusiness answered questions from the youth.

Some remarks made during the outreach include:

“The unique angle that this training captures is identity and a reframed mindset amongst the youths. This is such a needful component of youth education even as they embark into the entrepreneurship journey. We are grateful for partners like JLA and are excited at the potential the training will give in holistic transformation of the youth’s mindsets even as they eventually earn sustainable livelihoods.”- Makueni County Government Official

“Initially, I was not convinced to attend this session, but I am so glad I did because the training we have received today is life changing and I will look to utilize these learnings as I proceed with my life”. – PWD in attendance


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