Mr. George Wachiuri was among the key speakers at the Emerge Young Leaders Summit 2021. The day coincided with the global observation of the World Youth Skills Day 2021 under the theme, “The future of youth skills”. The day which is celebrated every 15th day of July, celebrates the strategic importance of equipping young people with skills for employment, decent work and entrepreneurship.

Since 2014, World Youth Skills Day events have provided a unique opportunity for dialogue between young people, technical and vocational education and training (TVET) institutions, firms, employers’ and workers’ organizations, policymakers and development partners. The Optiven Point had an opportunity to speak to Wachiuri on the role of the Optiven Foundation in empowering the youth.

According to Wachiuri, “the Optiven Foundation has been in the frontline of making a difference in the lives of youth across the country. We not only support them financially in terms of providing education opportunities under the Soaring Eagles Schorlarship Program, but we also mentor them to become responsible citizens of the future.” Wachiuri added that the achievement of the mentorship programme has been a great catalyst to the action points of the George Wachiuri School of Mentorship.

He says, “we cannot demand of fresh university graduates to have experience in the workplace if we are not prepared to give them an opportunity to gain that experience. For example we shall be graduating the second cohort of the George Wachiuri School of Mentorship this July and we are happy that the graduands have become ready to make a difference in the society.

Speaking on the challenge of reaching out to youth, he advised that, “from my experience from way back in my university days, I can say confidently that mentorship of young leaders is the best strategy towards a successful future. My contribution during the Emerge Young Leaders Summit on 15th July 2021 was a privilege as I mentored young leaders from various universities across Kenya.

One of my take outs at the summit was the clear evidence that the young leaders are extremely intelligent, sharp and posess extraordinary skills”. The Mentorship was an eye-opener to the current leaders that we need to keep mentoring these brilliant minds as they position themselves to take over various leadership levels across the numerous sectors.

I want to thank all these young leaders for attending, courtesy of the Inuka Program, and the Nairobi Chapel of Ruiru Branch. The session further galvanized my resolve to keep mentoring the young youths, through programs such as the George Wachiuri School of Mentorship.

The Optiven Foundation will continue to empower youth through such and other Initiatives, as well as partner in global Initiatives such as the World Youth Skills Day 2021, held on 15/7/2021 under the theme ‘Reimagining youth skills, post pandemic’. World Youth Skills Day 2021 takes place in a challenging context, with the continuation of the COVID-19 pandemic resulting in the widespread disruption of the TVET sector.

While vaccination rollouts offer some hope, TVET still has a long road to recovery, especially in those countries which continue to be overwhelmed by the spread of the disease. Youth skills development will face a range of unfamiliar problems emerging from a crisis where training has been disrupted in an unprecedented manner on a virtually universal scale. School and workplace closures are leading to learning and training losses.

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