Skip to content

Scholarships & Mentorship

Amani Nawiri – Technical training for out-of-school youth

In July 2009, UwK convened a group of 25 community leaders from educational, religious, and farming backgrounds, to discuss problems faced by youth in the community. The group identified three primary issues leading to poverty and poor life choices among youth: lack of secondary education, skill training, and guidance. From these meetings emerged the concept of developing a vocational training program using a mentorship model where guidance and support would frame technical training provided to disadvantaged out-of-school youth.

This group became known as the Sponsoring Committee for the Scholarship/Mentorship Project. (Amani Nawiri, the Swahili name given to the project, means peace and prosperity.) The project allows youth to receive partial scholarships to attend established local technical institutes. UwK, the Sponsoring Committee and families share in the expense of tuition over the course of technical training. Through the project, youth acquire life-changing skills and experience personal growth and transformation.


The Sponsoring Committee provides guidance to families and mentorship to Amani Nawiri students to inform educational decisions. For example, Amani Nawiri’s mentorship approach helps youth decide on the focus of their vocational training, conducts field trips to neighboring training institutes, provides guidance during the educational process, and advocates for youth if they face emotional, financial, or educational challenges throughout the educational process and beyond. Youth are awarded a startup trade kit at the successful completion of training.

Through this ongoing support and advisement, youth can begin to envision new possibilities for their futures. Amani Nawiri helps youth build confidence, leadership skills, and a sense of agency that comes from the experience of personal accomplishment and giving back to one’s community. A significant component of the project is community service by students during their academic breaks and summer recess.

IMG_2154Students provide voluntary assistance to economically vulnerable families identified by the Sponsoring Committee within their communities as they become more skilled at their respective trades. Currently, trades include: masonry, electrical, plumbing, carpentry, tailoring, and motorcycle repair. This also increases the support for Amani Nawiri within the community. Community members welcome the help of Amani Nawiri students. Each student has provided much needed assistance within their communities. One has surpassed all expectations, receiving Kenya’s President’s Award for Outstanding Community Service!

Amani Nawiri has grown. Initially the project offered the two year Certificate level of training. As the aspirations of youth increased, UwK and Amani Nawiri extended scholarship support to the next level of training, the Diploma level.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s