Although education is free families often have to meet the cost of school building projects and staff salaries. This is difficult for many families in rural parts of Mbeere and Machakos living on very low incomes. Once students leave school finding jobs is not easy. About 84% of Kenyans aged 15-24 are engaged in insecure, informal employment.
PCAT’s support to schools provides support to the whole school community rather than simply sponsoring a limited number of students. Projects supported include the construction of class rooms and the provision of water storage tanks.
Grant to meet the cost of connection to the electricity supply. PCAT has previously provided grants for the construction of classrooms including a science block as well as water storage facilities.
Grant to meet the cost of roofing materials for two classrooms.
Annual grant to help meet the cost of developing a computer laboratory.
Grant to help meet the cost of converting a former administration block into a school library.
A further grant was provided in 2015 towards the cost of a new bakery for the school. Once completed, the school will achieve significant cost savings by baking bread for the students rather than buying it from local bakeries, with an estimated pay-back period of about two years.
Youth unemployment is a significant and growing problem in Kenya. In response to this Njarange Area Project has initiated a driver training project, providing driving lessons for young adults. Half the cost is met by PCAT and half by the participants themselves. The course consists of 26 lessons over eight weeks. Ten trainees attend each course and by 2014 two courses had been successfully completed. All those who participated passed their tests and the majority have found employment as a result. In 2015 PCAT provided a grant towards the cost of an advanced driving course which will enable successful trainees to be employed driving commercial vehicles, thus widening employment opportunities.