Pamoja changed my Life
Skills and Development
The need for survival led him to engage in casual jobs to earn a living, at local building sites (mjengo) as a helper, as a tout at the local matatu industry (plying Kahawa West –Nairobi City route), at car washes as an attendant and as a casual laborer in small restaurants within Nairobi city. It is from such engagement that he developed a passion for cooking through his experiences in working at hotels and eateries though his financial and social circumstances however could not allow him to act beyond his desired goal to be a chef.Samuel learnt about the skills for jobs sponsorship through an advert that was forwarded online by a close relative. After application he was lucky to be on-boarded under the Novice Cohort-I category at NITA-Kisumu to pursue a short-term course in food and beverage production between January–April 2022. The training offered Sam practical and theoretical skills in food and beverage production that has equipped him with a range of knowledge and understanding, skills and techniques, personal qualities and attributes essential for successful performance in the food service industry. Samuel also benefited from Soft skills and career readiness training that prepared him not only to think creatively and acquire basics skills in entrepreneurship, but also promoted his overall future career performance, career advancement and retention. In April 2022 Sam successfully sat for his NITA grade III government trade test examinations.
Through the project’s skills matching approach Samuel eventually managed to secure a placement opportunity at EKA hotel in Nairobi as an intern assisting in food production department. The internship position offers a small monthly stipend which he partly uses to cater for his daily needs, and support his family whenever possible. The hotel management recently approached him with an offer for employment. “My self-esteem is over the roof. I remain grateful for the support I’ve received from Pamoja for transformation that has offered me this new lease of life. My parents and family are also happy and encouraged with my performance. My supervisor is also happy with my work which has motivated me to commence setting some money aside that will help me sponsor myself for NITA grade II government trade test. My dream is to become a professional chef in a five-star hotel and support my family. From now on my life can never be viewed with the same lens again. I encourage my fellow youth to never give up in life, to look out for and explore all available avenues to take up skills training and to always work hard.” Says Samuel Ochieng."
Samuel Ochieng or Sam, as he is often referred has experienced a fair share of struggles throughout a better part of his life. Through much effort, Sam managed to complete his secondary education in 2018 that came by with much support from the local CDF’s bursary funding. His family could however not afford to support his college education for lack of money and competing family demands. For 4 years, he struggled to make ends meet and alleviate the challenges of his life.