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Youth@Work gives vulnerable young Kenyans a future in the tourism and hospitality industries. For Ujima, keeping track of project successes is all about recording and monitoring data. The organization maintains detailed records to keep track of the trainees.

Key words:

  • Employability training
  • Hospitality
  • Entrepreneurship
  • ICT
  • Job-hunting

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‘The best support is self-support!’


  1. Ujima takes the following steps to keep track of students:
  2. Record all potential students prior to interview, capture all bio-data (including pictures and contact details) and enter data into an electronic database.
  3. Make separate lists of successful and unsuccessful applicants.
  4. Select applicants from the ‘unsuccessful’ group to form a control group.
  5. Ensure that the control group is representative of the whole. Use student alumni, mentors and employers to reach out to and track beneficiaries.
  6. Hold ‘Come Back Sessions’ for students doing internships (lasting one-and-a-half months), so they can report on and share their experiences.


  • Trainees and potential trainees
  • Job-hunters
  • Trainers
  • Recruitment officers
  • Social workers
  • Guardians (Ujima targets orphaned youngsters with familial responsibilities. Some of these youngsters live with their grandparents, who act as guardians)
  • Mentors
  • Employers


  • Time: full-time recruitment officer, social worker, job-hunter, trainer, volunteers (mentors). The full training process, from recruitment to job, takes a minimum of nine months. Tracking successes therefore takes a minimum of nine months.
  • Finances: staff salaries, stationery, transportation costs, amounting to €2,918 per year (approximately €12.10 per trainee).
  • Materials: stationery, computers, camera.
  • Knowledge: Youth@Work staff and external facilitators require expertise in human resources management (during assessments), social work, hospitality, marketing and public relations.


  • Results are measured in terms of the number of:
  • Orphaned trainees recruited per year
  • Unsuccessful applicants per year
  • People in the control group
  • Drop-outs per year
  • Successful trainees per year
  • Student alumni (active members)

Youth@Work targets 80% of the trainees to be absorbed in the job market. Any discrepancy in the target means that there might be a need for readjustment of the curriculum, change of marketing strategy, or alternative ways of tracking successes.

The results help determine the successes. They tell us about our strengths and weaknesses and whether we are on track or not, so that we can come up with mitigation strategies and intervene on time.

Lessons learned

Something that works really well is to capture the data during entry-point screening. The data of successful trainees are recorded and monitored efficiently.

This is facilitated by having a good database and by using a standardized form. When necessary, the recruitment officer helps potential trainees to complete their forms.


  • Involving guardians and mentors in the process can help with capturing data.
  • Strengthen the alumni network and facilitate their meetings.
  • Have the social worker visit the trainees’ homes.
  • It can be necessary to verify the potential trainees’ papers. In this case, involve the local community (local government and referrals).

Project sheet Ujima


From unemployed to waitress, restaurant or hotel manager; Youth@Work provides a future to vulnerable Kenyan youth.

Short facts
Sector: Tourism and hospitality
Lead partner: Ujima Foundation for Training and Development
Overall budget for the project: € 514,011
Learn4Work contribution: € 174,664
Partner contribution: € 339,347
Implementation period: January 2014- December 2016

Struggling Orphans

Feeding your siblings while you have not learned a trade and are struggling to find a steady job is difficult. Yet it is the reality of everyday life of orphaned youth in Kenya. Nakuru and Kisumu are touristy areas with a lot of potential, but it is remarkably challenging for hotels and restaurants to find qualified staff. Both problems could be solved if these orphans were trained on useful deployable skills. With a sustained income they could afford to buy healthy food for their brothers and sisters. And if they were trained on skills like a service-minded attitude, good communication and time management, employers from hotels, lodges and restaurant would hire them. This is where the Youth@Work project comes in.

Useful Skills

Youth@Work supports the development of good quality vocational training on hospitality and tourism. The project targets 720 orphaned youth (252 male and 486 female) aged 18-24 and their 2160 siblings. Lead partner Ujima Foundation has established links with over 100 employers in Kisumu and Nakuru. The foundation also has two training lodges of its own. In these different work environments trainees gain practical experience in the hospitality business. They can make mistakes, learn from it and develop themselves. After finishing the training at least 80% of the graduates is expected to find a job easily, which would of course be a great accomplishment. To enhance the success and prevent dropouts, the trainees are also attached to a mentor, a working parent who coaches them on how to balance work with family life. One of the topics discussed is cooking nutritious and balanced meals for their family members.

Improved Training

Based on their experiences with trainees, the local employers share their recommendations on the content of the vocational education with the training institution. For example in 2013, hotel managers recommended that Ujima foundation include practical trainings especially in food production and front office to enhance their skills prior to joining the hotel industry for their industrial exposure. This has been included in the training programme. Through this constant feedback, the programme prepares the graduates to have the exact set of skills needed to work in tourism and hospitality in the area. Entrepreneurial skills are also added to the curriculum so trainees can start their own business too. The training centre itself becomes more and more professional as well. Over the course of the project the training courses will be certified and officially recognised nationwide. This positively influences the hospitality standards in Kenya.

Public Private Partnership

During the project cycle lead partner Ujima Foundation slowly moves from being an NGO paid by donors to an official hospitality and tourism training centre. By the end of the project the trainings should be accredited and therefore part of the Kenyan vocational education system. The Dutch manager deployment programme PUM will contribute to this process. Together with the local private sector their senior experts will work on making the vocational trainings responsive to the local economic needs.

Wanted: Dutch Hotel School

To optimize learning, Ujima is still looking for a Dutch vocational institution (‘Hotel School’) to establish exchange programs. This offers fresh inputs and ideas to the programme from students who can easily link with and learn from their Kenyan peers. Youth@Work therefore encourages schools in the Netherlands to join this fruitful partnership.

Other Contributing Partners:

Milele resort, Milimani Resort, Kisumu, Lake Nakuru Flamingo Lodge, Tejchevé Foundation

Ujima Foundation

PO Box 800
Nehru road, Milimani estate, Kisumu city 40123
Email: office[at]
Contact: Mr Charles John Odhiambo

Stenden University of Applied Sciences

Email: info[at]
Contact: Mrs Monique Medema and Mr Graig Thomson

Lake Nakuru Flamingo Lodge

Email: info[at]
Contact: Mr Edwin Maliatso

Stichting Foundation Tejchevé

Website: –
Email: mechtild[at]
Contact: Mrs Mechtild van den Hombergh

PUM Netherlands Senior Experts

Email: info[at]
Contact: Mr Norbert Enschot

Milimani Resort

Website: –
Email: info[at]
Contact: Mr Thomas Ojowi

Milele Resort

Email: info[at]
Contact: Mr David Njuki