Industrial Centers Of Hope

In October 2007, HOPE worldwide Kenya (HWWK) obtained a three- year funding from Wal-Mart Foundation to implement the Industrial Centers of HOPE (ICOH) program. The overriding goal of the program is to improve the welfare of factory workers especially in Wal-Mart supplying factories, and also uplift the standard of living for the workers dependants. Together, the partners, Wal-Mart, HOPE worldwide Kenya, and the factories have been contributing to the attainment of 5 out of the 8 global millennium development goals;

  • Eradicating extreme poverty
  • Promoting gender equality
  • Combating HIV/AIDS
  • Promoting environmental sustainability
  • Global partnership for development.

Measured as a percentage of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Kenya’s economic growth shrunk to 1.7% in the current financial year, the lowest in five years. The issue of poverty is compounded by HIV/AIDS.  The unique nature of the Wal-Mart funded program has enabled the ‘triple-crisis’ of HIV/AIDS, poverty and unemployment to be addressed at the same time among the target populations.

The program is being implemented under three Strategic Objectives:

1.      Improve the capacity of management and staff in factories to implement HIV/AID programs at their workplaces

2.      Improve the entrepreneurial and vocational aptitude of communities around the factories targeting mostly workers’ families

3.      Equip & educate youths and adults in the communities with HIV prevention and life-skills, improve care and support for children orphaned and/or vulnerable

The program has been implemented in four sites: Nairobi, Mombasa, Kitengela and Thika. HIV/AIDS and wellness programs were initiated in 16 factories (4 in each of the sites). Centers of HOPE facilitate community outreach activities, vocational and entrepreneurial skills training and educational support for children.

The Industrial Centers of HOPE are established where most of the workers live to facilitate their access to services such as:

  • Voluntary Counseling & Testing
  • Vocational and entrepreneurship skills training
  • Community Resource Center

Vocational training offered includes an Entrepreneurial Skills and Peer Education trainings: In Kenya, most of the jobs available are for the more highly educated and affluent community members. Providing entrepreneurial skills to those we train in various vocations will make them more able to start their own enterprises in case they do not get salaried employment.

The vocational trainings that are provided include:

  • Art
  • Hairdressing
  • Tailoring
  • Computer skills.

Success Stories

Scola & Pauline

Scola Malonza is 22 years old and comes from a family of 9 siblings. Due to financial constraints her parents were not able to pay fees for secondary school education. Subsequently, she dropped out and resorted to doing menial jobs.

Her older brother works at the Kenya Trading EPZ (Export Processing Zone) Limited in Nairobi’s Industrial Area, one of the factories involved in the ICOH (Industrial Centers of HOPE) Program. When he heard of the Vocational training sponsored by ICOH at the St. Bakhita Mukuru Promotional Center, he enrolled Scola in the School’s Dressmaking class. 

“Scola is the best student in class,” says one of her teachers. When she completes the Dressmaking Grade 3 Exams, the Institution is considering her sponsorship to the next level – Dressmaking Grade 2. “I look forward to establishing my own business some day!” declares a hopeful Scola.

Pauline Lasoni is in class 6 at Ngereza Primary School in Kitengela town. Her father works far away from home as a herdsman. Their Maasai community is predominantly nomadic pastoralists and they do not attach much importance to education of the girl child. 

Pauline has five other siblings, four brothers and a sister. Their mother, Tokoiya, is illiterate and jobless but makes a living from peddling herbal medicine in Kitengela. Despite the mother’s efforts to provide for her, Pauline still needed school uniform and other educational materials. 

The Industrial Centers of HOPE (ICOH) Program in July 2008 began an educational support plan for needy pupils at the school. Fortunately, she was selected to benefit from provision of uniform and tuition.

Additionally, being a member of the School Kidz Club - an initiative run by the Program to provide community-based psychosocial support to Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVCs) - has greatly improved the self-esteem and enhanced the self-expression of this young lass. It is no wonder she is top in her class!

From Drug Peddler to Anti-Drug Crusader
Hellen Nzioka Thank You Letter
Our Contacts

HOPE worldwide Kenya
Red Hill Road off Limuru Road, near Gacharage High School

P.O. Box 11775-00100
Niairobi , Kenya
Phone: +254-20-3522 549, +254-20-3522 384
Mobile: +254-725-990 993, +254-735-551 551

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