The Project Heshima is a two-year partnership initiative supported by East Africa Breweries Limited and implemented jointly by Africa Initiative for Rural Development (AiRD) and WECREATE. The project seeks to address the problem of illicit brews production and consumption among the target population innovatively using enterprise development and behavior change communication approaches. The main objective of project Heshima is to create opportunities for the Youth through entrepreneurship, vocational skills training and achieve behavior change with respect to responsible drinking. The project targets the out-of-school youth between the ages of 18 to 35 in 10 counties: Nairobi, Kiambu, Nakuru, Kisumu, Migori, Homa Bay, Murang’a, Machakos, Makueni and Kwale.
Nationally, about 92 per cent of the unemployed youth lack employable skills demanded by the job market. This has continued to undermine the unemployment challenge in the country as these raises dependency levels, thus posing a serious threat to national security as young men and women result into consuming illicit brews. The scenario is further compounded by low transition to and completion rates in secondary education, as well as limited opportunities in technical and vocational skills training institutions for the youth’’ (Sector Plan for Gender, Youth and Vulnerable Groups 2013-2017). Through behavior change, Project Heshima aims at developing a crop of responsible and upright leaders capable of creating opportunities for fellow youth within their respective communities. Project Heshima therefore directly complements the Government’s Youth Development Agenda by creating opportunities for them through skills development, employment creation and imparting of knowledge and skill on entrepreneurship. Responsible citizenry is a cross-cutting theme in all aspects of Project Heshima.