The US Agency for International Development (USAID) has given Ksh1.6 billion to serve 300,000 youths in Kenya.
The funds will help create job opportunities that can improve their lives and transform their communities.
Michigan State University (MSU) has since received the money and will partner with two other universities and youth organizations across Kenya to provide training on life skills.
MSU will partner with Egerton University and the United States International University-Africa (USIU) in rolling out the programme.
The agency observed that there was a high level of unemployment in Kenya that had affected people aged between 15 and 24 years.
“We often see youth, especially in Africa, as lacking something instead of being great partners who can lead transformation themselves,” Leapetswe Malete, a project director and Associate Professor in the MSU Department of Kinesiology, stated.
“We need to change this way of thinking about youth’s role in society. If we do that in Kenya, we are likely to have an impact in the region and across the continent on how to engage youth effectively as development partners," the director added.
The Empowered Youth project will leverage on Kenya’s “Bunge” (Swahili word for Parliament) to strengthen its collaboration with county governments, non-profits, private sector partners and Kenyan higher education.
MSU President, Samuel L. Stanley, stated that the University was focused on building the livelihoods of youth not only in the campus but around the globe.
During the course of the grant, up to Ksh2.5 million will be awarded directly to young people in the form of small grants to kickstart their own innovative business ideas.
“It will enable them to see these opportunities and keep them going,” Malete stated.