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Education and Youth

Two Kenyan boys read together while sharing a book.
Kenya’s focus on high-quality education is improving the futures of primary school students across the country. Children who excel in reading have a better chance of succeeding and contributing to the prosperity of the country.
USAID/Kenya and East Africa’s Education and Youth Office is improving learning outcomes in early-grade reading on a national scale, providing pathways to education for bright but disadvantaged students, and empowering youth with workforce and leadership skills to pave the way to a peaceful and prosperous Kenya.
Highlights of our work include:


Education Programming

  • A flagship early grade reading partnership between USAID and the Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology implemented in every primary school in the country 
  • Tusome will improve the reading skills of 5.4 million primary school children in Kenya. 
  • More than 7 million new textbooks have been printed and distributed to students – the largest influx of new textbooks in Kenyan history and a 1:1 student book ratio.  An additional 9 million books will be distributed in the coming years for a grand total of 16 million books and learning materials.  
  • Over 22,500 head teachers and 70,000 teachers across all 47 counties were trained on the new curriculum in 2015.
Global Give-back Circle
  • Public-private partnership that integrates mentoring, private sector investment, and community support to allow disadvantaged girls and boys to complete their education, gain employable skills, and become agents of change in their respective communities.
  • The program includes 600 mentors from nine countries.
  • GGBC has partnered with 28 private sector organizations to provide scholarships to 640 girls and 28 boys.
Wings to Fly/Equity Africa Leaders Program
  • Scholarship program that increases access to high school and higher education for talented but economically disadvantaged young people.
  • Awarded scholarships to over 12,300 students across Kenya.
  • Partnership to reduce HIV infections among adolescent girls and young women in Kenya.
  • Outreach to 2,500 adolescent girls and young women through a two-pronged approach that provides customized individual support while strengthening education, health, social, and economic systems.

Youth Programming

  • Youth employment project that closes the gap between young people who are out of work and employers who are short of skilled employees. 
  • 100% of Generation Kenya’s 490 graduates have been placed into jobs. 
  • 100% of supervisors indicated that they would want to hire Generation graduates again. 
Kenya Youth Workforce Development Program 
  • Newly launched youth workforce program focused on enhancing the employability of Kenyan youth.
  • By the end of program, 30,000 youth in the nine target counties will have improved market-relevant job and business skills. 
  • More than 300,000 youth will gain access to youth-friendly financial services, current youth labor-market information, and youth mentorship networks.
Yes Youth Can
  • Yes Youth Can was the largest USAID youth program in the world.
  • A national grassroots network of a million youth in 23,000 villages in 32 of Kenya’s 47 counties.
  • Established 31 youth-led, owned, and managed Savings and Credit Cooperative Organizations with over 40,000 members managing more than $1.4 million.
  • One million national identity cards were obtained through the My ID, My Life campaign.
  • Over 4 million youth were reached with messages of peace.  Peace education and conflict resolution training and messages at the village level contributed to peaceful 2013 general elections.
Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) Mandela Washington Fellowship
  • To invest in the next generation of African leaders as they spur growth and prosperity, strengthen democratic governance, and enhance peace and security across Africa.
  • YALI’s flagship program, the Mandela Washington Fellowship, provides skills and support for outstanding young leaders from sub-Saharan Africa at U.S. higher education institutions and upon their return to home.
  • 23 U.S. institutes of higher education have hosted 1,000 Mandela Washington Fellows to date.
  • Over the past two years, 86 young leaders from Kenya have participated in the program.
Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) Regional Leadership Center East Africa 
  • The YALI Regional Leadership Center East Africa is the first Regional Leadership Center to open on the Continent.
  • 560 young leaders from across 14 countries are being trained in the first year of the project.
  • On-line training platform is expected to reach 2,050 young people per year. 
  • International and regional institutions including Arizona State University, Dartmouth University, Equity Bank, Kenyatta University, and GE provide interactive and experiential curriculum.

Last updated: January 30, 2017

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