By Emily Gitonga

Young people in Africa have been struggling in the Energy space to acquire internships and experience that are often prerequisites for entry into the job market. They have also been as well as struggling with the barrier to entry that is financial constraint with regards to doing the certification programmes. On average energy certification programmes cost $100 an amount that is largely unattainable at this level especially through self-sponsorship.

Eenovators partnership with GIZ through the Water and Energy for Food (WE4F) programme has transformed the lives of young people. The youth have gained incredibly valuable experience that will last a lifetime and serve to create change in the region. The Youth in Energy Empowerment program (YEEP) is a program run by Eenovators Limited in partnership with GIZ WE4F program. The program is running with 10 cohorts who applied, were interviewed and then accepted into the program.

The program entails an energy audit technician course and essential skills training on the first phase and mentorship and a six months internship on the second phase of the internship. The first phase of the program was completed and the students excelled in their exams. Eenovators organized a colorful mini graduation to celebrate this great milestone with the YEEP cohorts. They shared their great experiences during the graduation ceremony.

Experiences on the YEEP program

Gloria Maruti

“YEEP has been an amazing experience for me. I have acquired different skills both in technical classes and the essential skills sessions. It has empowered me as a youth and has given me an amazing experience. I’m excited to meet my mentor and learn from a more experienced level. Thanks for this opportunity Eenovators”

  Nelson Simanto

“From the application of this program, I have had an exciting experience. Throughout the interview and on the acceptance in the program I was excited to join. YEEP has taught me practical skills different from what we were taught in campus. Tutors have been willing to make us understand. Essential skills have been of impact now I know how to write great application letters and CV. My communications skills are good and I know how to communicate and interact with people better. It is an amazing experience. Thanks, Eenovators for the opportunity.”

Patrick Kanyuira

“My experience has been so fulfilling and pleasant, fresh out of campus we were used to be tutored in such a way that the aim was to cover the content and not on how much the student has understood. Meeting a new environment where the tutors are more concerned on how better I have understood has been so amazing. Secondly, it has taught me to be more open-minded, I have interacted with engineers from different fields’ chemical, mechanical, electrical engineering. This has helped me open up to new ideas and be an all-around person. The essential skills classes have been a great experience for I knew as an engineer you should only be concerned with designing or installing systems but essential skills training have taught me how to communicate while designing and installing systems. It has also taught me skills on how to work in a team. It has been such a great experience and I’m thankful for the opportunity .I look forward and eager for a better experience in the next six months.”

Cindy Mureithi

“Since high school, I have always wanted to do something with electrical engineering although I didn’t study it in campus.  YEEP gave me this opportunity to learn on electrical engineering. The experience has been fun, remembering the expectations that we were asked during the orientation to the program I would say I am way informed than before, being one of the people who have already visited the sites it was fun and enjoyable doing the installations. Applying what I was taught in class in the site and looking for measures to improve on energy savings and efficiency in the host sites is exciting. On the essential skills training the session on Emotional intelligence has largely impacted my life especially on how I react to situations. Reflecting back, now I don’t react to situations like I used to before. I hope that even as we get to our internship sites and encounter challenges we will be able to overcome these challenges by applying what we were taught in class. Thank you”

Gideon Omangi

“I appreciate those who initiated the program. It has been very impactful to all of us. I remember all the efforts you have put in to ensure our success and no one is left behind. I remember being unsure of what exactly I wanted to do after campus. I was however lucky to get to join the program I would say YEEP has given me ways in which I can impact the world through energy. Right now I see opportunities I can use to implement clean energy and also encourage energy savings in the commercial and residential buildings. The program has helped me build great friendships bringing new experiences. I appreciate the trainers who showed us what we expect in the real work environment which was very informative. Essential skills training encouraged us to look at things differently and I’m very thankful for that. I’m very eager for the internship where we are going to make the real impact. Thank you so much.”

Sephan Ogola

“In Swahili, they say’ ukiona vyaelea jua vimeundwa,’ a lot of hard work has gone behind the scenes to ensure that we are here today. To actualize this moment that we are enjoying right now, I congratulate my fellow cohorts for their success this far. I hope the same temple or more will be maintained or exceed during the second phase. I convey my candid appreciation to the coordinating crew and the training team both in the essential and technical training everything they have done has been spectacular and their high levels of dedication have come through for us. When we were joining we had the mindset that has an engineer you deal with tools, but into the program, we learned that we cannot execute this without the confidence or without the right set of mindset and skills, essential skills have been the best part of this program being very impactful in the way we interact with each other. From these sessions, I have learned excellent communication is very crucial everything done with good communication it will flow seamlessly. I thank Eenovators for this opportunity. I look forward to the second phase. Thank you.”

Koech Irvine

“My biggest lesson from the time I applied for this program is the ability to take up risks. It was just randomly that I came to learn about this program while I was doing a research on climate change and I met a friend who informed me about this program. When I applied for it I knew I was to be trained online.  When the program started it was not purely online but I took the risk although I was doing my research at the time. Looking back to all the things I have learned and the friendships I have made I am very happy. It is a new experience for phase 2 since I will be moving to a new town which is another risk I am very happy to take. I look forward to where this endeavor will take me. Mine is a thank you very much to everyone who has made this possible.”

Richard Ojunga

 “When I came across this program it was just after campus my interest in energy sustainability was in line with the program. From the interview process which was a very thorough process, I just knew it was going to be a thorough training process I could not imagine the scope of the whole program. Up to now, I can still not imagine how big it is because it has exceeded my expectations from the classes and how it was organized. The training was a great learning process that has impacted our lives. All the people I have met along the way my colleagues the trainers and the team at Eenovators are amazing. I know even my expectation in the field will be exceeded. Thank you”

Albert Kibiwott

“The YEEP program has been an incredible and great learning experience. I have been privileged to get the energy audit and the energy management knowledge and experience. The program has been of great impact in developing my career and entrepreneurship skills especially in the energy space. Has for the essential skills training I have learnt much on life skills which have helped me has a youth overcome challenges of day to day activities. The program has been a great addition to my professional and personal development and I can only experience more and more in this program. Eenovators has felt like a family .Thank you very much for the opportunity.”

Cherily Shikweya

“I was so excited to hear of the YEEP program especially because it was an energy management program and this is the direction I wanted to take in my career. I was so grateful after the interview to get the opportunity to join my fellow cohorts in the program. The essential skills training have been of great impact in my life on communication and the interpersonal skills which I’m working on to become even better. The energy audit was an exciting learning experience for me the trainers took us through the process they held my hand.  The online exams which was my first experience was interesting since it was about testing my understanding .The YEEP program has built my confidence in the employment world I can confidently present myself to an employer. I look forward for the rest of the program and so grateful to Eenovators and for GIZ for sponsoring this program .Thank you.”

This is the beginning of a success story not only for the cohorts but also for the organization to impact more youths in the region of East Africa and the continent.

“A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.”― Jackie Robinson