The Knowles Educational and Charitable Trust for International Leadership (KECTIL) has launched the first-ever flagship project in Kenya, which now joins 72 countries globally under the program.
The Kectil Centre for Youth Excellence-Kenya was officially launched on 16th July 2021, after an epic event held at the Social House Hotel in Lavington, where several stakeholders and beneficiaries of the cohort program attended.
Daniel Ochieng, Kectil leader, and mentor noted that the program would go a long way in supporting the dreams and visions of many youths in the country.
“We are thrilled to have launched the KECTIL Centre for Youth Excellence Kenya. There are many dreams and visions about the movement starting with the founder of the Kectil Program in the United States of America and stakeholders who have been keen on the program. We believe that Kenya will trail blaze in leadership and empowering of as many youths as possible,” said Ochieng, who added that KECTIL will host a 12-week program for 50 youths who have been shortlisted for the first cohort.
“KECTIL program is excited to have a center in Kenya which has a lot in stock, including the 12 weeks’ program that will be starting in August where 50 youths will be trained on design thinking and decision-making skills for the first-ever cohort. We hope that many of our youth’s problems will be solved,” said Ochieng.
Some of the emerging challenges the youths currently face in Kenya, which will be tackled in the 12- week program starting August 2021, include unemployment, corruption, mental health challenges, social media addiction, lack of patriotism and nationalism, and self-belief.
According to Ochieng, they had a thorough recruitment process where they held interviews with applicants across the country, focusing on essential things the youths were doing in society.
“Before the launch, we had a thorough two weeks’ recruitment process, where we opened up the opportunity for students and other Kenyan youths who are doing something significant in their communities,” he revealed. The KECTIL network is present in 72 countries globally. With the pilot centers of youth excellence in Kenya, Uganda, and Zambia, Ochieng is optimistic they will lead the bar high to ensure that other countries pick a leaf from us in helping the youths solve the day-to-day challenges and shine even brighter.
On his part, Wycliffe Guguni, the chairperson of the KECTIL CEntre for Youth Excellence, Kenya Secretariat, expressed high hopes for the launch, noting that the Kenyan youths would benefit a lot from the training workshops that will be coming up.
“I am glad that the launch has been a success having youths from different disciplines and different regions of the county coming together to share their expectations of the program. We have interesting ideas on things that will be included in the curriculum, which is very dynamic and targeted towards helping young people develop the capacity and confidence to address problems in society. Therefore, the program will enable them to have the skills to apply a methodology to create solutions,” Guguni revealed. According to Guguni, they will have seminars in between the program targeted towards developing soft skills like career planning progression, seminars on ethics, governance, team dynamics, personalities, etc. “It is very comprehensive and rigorous, and we hope to achieve the capacity to create a methodology to solve these issues,” he added.
Also present during the launch, Peter Quest, the Head of Youth programs at Kenya School of Government, was optimistic that the program would go a long way in helping change the lives of Kenyan youths.
“I believe that given an opportunity and proper investment, this program will help transform the lives of young people in Kenya who need exposure. The KECTIL program is giving them the right exposures to network, learn, get mentorship, and link to opportunities,” Quest said.
He also noted that the government under President Uhuru Kenyatta has created goodwill and is doing so much to help the young people since the government head has been the champion of the youth and has set the mandate to revive the youth-related projects and platforms.
“If you look at the structures and the Big 4 Agenda you will see that there are a lot of opportunities that the youths can acquire a lot of things and benefit like Housing, Food Security, Ajira Digital program etc” said Quest, adding that the seed that has been planted would create a better future for the current and coming generation. “The seed that has been planted today will germinate to help not only the current generation but also the to come. I fully endorse this project, and it is something that we as the Kenya School of Government will be happy to Partner with to help these young people,” he added.
For Cynthia Muchana, the Tax Associate at Deloitte, the launch was a brilliant idea, and she was hopeful that dreams and ambitions for many young people would be realized.
“The launch has been quite informative, and the curriculum is brilliant. There are many young people with dreams and ambitions that will now be realized through the KECTIL program, which will give the youths a broader view of life and how to deal with the pertinent issues affecting them and the society at large,” she stated.
Unlike the previous narrative where students would be encouraged to learn and pass exams with flying colors dreaming of good jobs and salaries, Muchana opined that the leadership program would enable several youths to develop entrepreneurial skills.
“When a lot of us were in school, the mentality was that I want to go through school, get good grades and get a well-paying job that will sustain my family and me. But I feel the narrative is changing with such a leadership program, and people should be in school to try and understand the concept of being entrepreneurial,” She said.
The first cohort for the KECTIL program will run for three months, from August 2021 to October 2021.