LAUNCH OF THE ‘CAREER READINESS AND EMPOWERMENT TRAINING’
Blog post by Peter King'ori, a member of EFAC's Kenyan Team
On May 1, 2015 the collaboration between Africa Nazarene University (ANU) and Education for All Children (EFAC) advanced to a new level as Prof. Leah Marangu, Vice –Chancellor, ANU and Nancy Van Sciver, together with her husband Rod, founders of EFAC joined hands to launch Career Readiness and Empowerment Training (CRET) under the theme “nurturing character and career development.” The launch was received with cheers of jubilations by over 130 scholars who are currently beneficiaries of EFAC scholarship and mentorship in post-secondary education. The CRET curriculum is a four year program that seeks to equip the scholars with skills and an education that leverages them to be competitive and assertive in modern day professions.
Speaking during the launch, Prof. Leah Marangu asserted that “this dream was not in vain. You are the candle that is going to ignite others wherever you go.” She challenged the scholars to “inculcate discipline, determination, hard work and a trust in God” in their journey of academic excellence as well as when preparing for work related responsibilities. Nancy Van Sciver recalled the genesis of EFAC asserting that the launch of CRET was one of the program’s milestones that will play a leading role in transforming lives as well as prepare the scholars to acquire the soft skills which are required in the modern job market. “Since the conception of EFAC we have heard stories of difficulty being transformed to stories of great hope.” she said as she acknowledged her dream to change the lives of the less privileged in Kenyan society who will ultimately change the African continent.
The Guest Speaker, Arch. Lee Karuri, Director of Dimensions group and Chairman of Ethics and Practice, Board of Registration of Architects and Quantity Surveyors of Kenya shared his journey of success from his humble childhood to self-independence. He pointed out that “EFAC is just a bridge to your future of self- independence. It will spark your potential and give you a path to success.” He urged the scholars to “depend on God, invest in your education, career and character.”
The 21st Century employers desires to employ competent employees who can propel the vision and mission of the organization or company to greater heights. This requires the caliber of an employer’s prospective employees to be competent academically, professionally and socially. Furthermore, they should possess a wide range of soft skills such as teamwork, leadership, communication skills, interpersonal skills, positive attitude, problem solving and a strong work ethic. The CRET program aims to enhance scholars skills and further develop relevant competencies including, self-awareness, financial literacy, reproductive health, career knowledge and preparation, employability skills, leadership, and survival skills which will enable them to be productive in the modern job market. The program also allows the scholars to participate in community transformation at a personal level and develop their servant leadership skills through philanthropic and community driven initiatives.
Prior to the launch, the workshop commenced on April 19, 2015 with a group of 48 scholars who completed their Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) in year 2014 and they are currently looking forward to joining universities/colleges in September. They were joined by a group of 86 Scholars on April 30, 2015 who are currently pursuing their Degree/Diploma courses in institutions of higher learning from across the country for a two days comprehensive CRET workshop. The scholars had an opportunity to listen, interact, and share their views/ideas with different professionals/career experts who works in both public and private sector.
The workshop was of great importance to the scholars as they testified about its impact in their personal and professional development. “The interaction with different individuals from various firms is so helpful in my professional development. I now know how to behave during an interview,” said Pauline Sinyok, a student at Kenyatta University. William Muchui, a student at Thika School of Medical Sciences testified that “I have learned how to negotiate for a job and what to cover when preparing a Curriculum Vitae.” Mercy Obiewa, a student at Rongo University said “it was a wonderful chance and I have learned how to market myself in order to be the most outstanding among the millions of job applicants.” Joan Naeni, a student at Technical University of Kenya pointed out that the “elevator speech and speed mentoring session has made me really evaluate myself and learn how to brand myself.” EFAC’s Kenya team would like to thank all the EFAC sponsors, stakeholders and facilitators who dedicated their time and resources to ensure the success of this workshop.