What sort of future will our children be facing when they leave the shelter of CBCH? In the last 8 years, high speed internet has arrived in Kenya. With unemployment in 2009 at 40%, the pessimists grumbled that what Kenya needed was jobs, not technology. But access to the internet has proved transformative leading to a boom in innovation establishing Kenya as East Africa’s technology hub. According to a high tech guru in Nairobi, “High unemployment plus fast internet equals entrepreneurship”.
Knowing what effect the internet has had on the encouragement of entrepreneurialism here in the UK, we see only too well the opportunities available to the children of Kisumu if we can support them in getting access to a great internet connection and teaching computer and IT skills. Our Children’s Centre hopes to bring internet technology and computer learning to many young people in the Kisumu area.
We see entrepreneurship all around, the children just need support and opportunity. We came across an inspirational story of a 15 year old boy who was aware that his mother’s lung disease was as a result of life-long exposure to cooking smoke from scavenged wood, dried animal dung and local charcoal. He discovered a process on the web for turning sugarcane husks in to charcoal which emitted 90% less smoke than wood charcoal and was 60% more efficient. As 68% of Kenya’s population rely on traditional fuel because gas and electricity are either unavailable or too expensive, this enterprising lad’s sugarcane briquettes may dramatically reduce the exposure to cooking smoke as one of the leading causes of death in the developing world. This is just the sort of entrepreneurship we love to support whenever any of our children leave the home in to adult life setting up their own businesses or enterprising ideas. We support them with a small loan to help them get started and as much business advice and direction that we can offer them. We have had many successful business start ups from such small beginnings as a little loan and a lot of encouragement and we are immensely proud of all of them and the inspiration their success then offers to the younger children.