It can be difficult for young adults to find jobs upon graduation. In Kenya, job markets are especially sparse, with many opportunities concentrated in large cities like Nairobi. Limited opportunities in rural areas mean young professionals often must move to larger cities, leaving behind their families and the chance to bolster their local economies. University graduates can have an advantage, but only if a job market exists to receive them.
Horizon alumni, even with higher education, can face these difficulties as well — and a new partnership is seeking to change that. Horizon Kenya leadership recently entered an alliance with Narma Inc. (New Aero Mission Accomplishment), a South Korean drone manufacturer, to train Horizon alumni in drone flying.
Narma specializes in using drones to deliver goods, particularly in medical contexts. Dr. Kijung Kwon, Narma CEO also signed an agreement with the Kenyan government to offer drone services for the country’s health sector, transporting drugs and emergency equipment between hospitals.
Delivery drones like these can be the difference between life and death — working to close the technology gap affecting medicine delivery to hospitals and other health facilities in rural areas.
“Kenya is one of the sub-Saharan African countries lagging behind in reaching the fourth and fifth Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which include reduced child mortality and improved maternal health,” Horizon’s Kenya Country Director, Sammy, says. “Part of the reason is a lack of basic infrastructure including clean water and electricity supply, and poor road networks leading to poor quality of health services in rural Kenya. Many health centers in rural areas do not have basic medicines, especially for emergencies due to transport challenges. Drones will play a huge role in easing this problem.”
The benefit to a partnership like this is two-fold: Horizon alumni gain marketable, hands-on job experience, while furthering equitable access to essential healthcare equipment across rural hospitals.
Horizon alumni who are currently unemployed and have completed university studies in a field related to engineering and technology can apply to the drone training program. Ten alumni will be selected to participate. They will earn a temporary flying license for the duration of training, taking place later this year and early 2024.
This training will prepare Horizon alumni to receive their drone flying license and gain potential employment with drone companies. This partnership is part of Narma’s vision to invest in youth with the job skills needed to jumpstart their careers.
Horizon is committed to investing in youth as well. We don’t age children out of our care; our support continues after graduation in Supported Independent Living, a program of intentional support for youth aged 18+. These youth receive mentorship in higher education, life skills, heath care, and are supported through a transition to living independently.
Empowering the next generation can feel daunting. But with more companies like Narma extending their expertise to train others, we can build communities that strive to set youth up for success. And when youth are empowered in their futures, they’re not the only ones impacted — they could be the first in their family to experience generational empowerment.
Written by Sarah Pryor and Nixon Oluoch