Ten young Kenyans are to win educational scholarships to the German Institute of Professional Studies as a way to reduce HIV incidence.
The scholarships are to be awarded to winners of the GATE National Festival, an annual talent competition organised by the NGOs for out-of-school youth.
This year’s GATE, which takes place from February 14-16 at Nakuru High School in the Rift Valley, aims to reach at least 10,000 youth. More than 500 contestants are expected to participate in twelve categories.
Ekrah Ndungu, Principle of the German Institute, says the scholarships are important to the youth as it gives enables them to believe in themselves and make something of their natural born talents.
“Besides what the government is doing, besides what is being done by NGOs – jobs, training and mentorship can really make a difference to a young person who feels that they are hopeless. Give them hope, show them that there is a future for them and a place for them in this world, then a step towards an HIV-free generation will have begun,” Ndungu said.
This is the second year for the institute to sponsor the winners. In GATE 2011, the institute gave eight scholarships to young people, all of whom are still attending the institute. One of these is Charles Ndoo who recently scored the highest grade in German language of all the international students.
“We found all eight students to be diligent, hardworking and they also adhered to the college rules and regulations with ease. We appreciated that the organisers of the GATE Festival for providing a platform for the youth to be able to channel their talent and go further in life,” Ndungu added.
Ndungu notes that in the continued fight to reduce HIV incidence and end AIDS, the private sector needs to think outside the box.
GATE was developed in 2010. It calls upon youth individually and collectively to take charge and be active in protecting their health and futures by leveraging information, education, life skills, economic opportunities and resources. So far, GATE has linked 254 youth to market opportunities, established partnership with strategic private partners including HACO tiger brands, BIFA College and The German Institute.
- Maasai dancers pose for the camera after performing at the GATE festival