Craft Silicon Foundation has announced plans to partner with Kenya Red Cross in identifying Kenyan youth in Nairobi slum areas to mentor and train in ICT skills that will empower them economically during this COVID-19 pandemic. Since the outbreak of Corona virus in the country in March this year, low income earners particularly in the informal settlement were the worst hit.
Craft Silicon Foundation CEO Priya Budhabhatti, said majority of these residents depended on manual jobs to earn a living and there was urgent need to innovate other ways of self sustenance for slum dwellers to mitigate against high cases of crime cases that will spike due to lack of daily earnings.
“This pandemic has affected many aspects of people’s lives including income, education and most critical health and there was urgent need to support the vulnerable communities who have been adversely affected by Covid-19”, she urged. The Foundation boss made these comments while donating food items, masks and sanitizers to residents of Viwandani in Nairobi’s industrial area.
Kenya Red Cross Deputy Secretary-General in charge of Programmes, Annette Msabeni, acknowledged the Foundation’s efforts towards supporting the Covid-19 response and her organization is looking forward to more joint activities that will see the Innovation Unit, Youth and IT department support more vulnerable communities in informal settlements and expand the use of technology to educate the vulnerable young people.
“Kenya Red Cross will be at the frontline with various response initiatives that are crucial in relief efforts across the country by mobilizing and channeling relief efforts to affected communities in a timely and organized manner. The partnership between these two organizations will expand and reach out to more communities within Nairobi”, Msabeni explained.
Apart from the occasional donation of relief supplies to communities, Craft Silicon Foundation continues to offer Free Digital Literacy program, its flagship project. The foundation is a CSR initiative of Craft Silicon Limited. The foundation uses solar powered mobile computer bus that ensures computer education reaches out to everyone at their door step in an environmental friendly and sustainable manner. In the last six years, over 16,500 students less privileged youth, girls and children have been trained.
The program was launched in the year 2010 with a mission to empower women, youths, children and communities through Free ICT knowledge and services. The program entails a three months’ introduction course and a six months Advance-training program. Certification is done on successful completion of the program. The initiative facilitates job placement and absorption for students through partnership with corporate and institutions as well provision of seed capital for starting small business enterprises. The Foundation has extended Free Digital Literacy program to Kenya, Uganda and India with Plans to Launch in Ghana and Tanzania.
To support government agencies, the Kenya Red Cross Society has continued to implement interventions to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the country and minimize the impact of the pandemic on communities. These interventions are coordinated with both the National and County governments include: creation of awareness among the general public and communities in prison and refugee camps; installation and distribution of handwashing facilities; provision of free psychosocial counseling on 1199; livelihood support to vulnerable households and distribution of PPEs.