Our History

Our History

1997 CoWA was founded to answer the needs of St. Kizito students to link them to the job market through internships and job placements. Initially registered as a company limited by guarantee. Later the services were extended to entrepreneurship training and job placement were opened to all youth from all training institutions and starts. A large number of youth seeking work placement and the network of companies they were sent to form the CoWA database. Due to the collaboration with AVSI, business skills training is extended to AVSI parents, largely women.

In around 2000, CoWA was registered as an NGO.CoWA collaborated with the local government, UNDP, and opened an office in a one-stop youth center in town. CoWA participated actively in discussions of youth unemployment with the government and other stakeholders and there was an HR forum.

Around 2006/7 at the height of CoWA activity, it occupied a whole floor in the Roysambu building and was a center of youth looking for jobs. Hundreds of youth visited CoWA every week, there were orientation to work days, business skills training events on a regular calendar.

2008 -Partnered with UNICEF in supporting training and employment for vulnerable youth through developing market orientation attachment and employment model

2010-2013-CoWA participated in the launching of St Charles Lwanga Vocational Training Centre at Kibera, an affiliate of St.Kizito VTI.CoWA’s main role was majorly marketing and sensitizing of the importance of vocational skills training in the schools with the Kibera slums, collaboration with key stakeholders in the promotion of the setup of the institution with Local authorities, principles of learning institutions. Strengthening of the training programs so that the youths who graduate fit well the competitive labor market through detailed induction programs, life skills & employability skills, entrepreneurship skills as well as orientation to work programs. Collaboration with industries was also enhanced through internship/attachment placements & job matching, maintaining close touch with the industries through industrial visits and human resources forums. And lastly to improve the livelihood and economic wellbeing of the community CoWA was involved in support for business start-ups as well scale-up with the period

2015 CoWA partnered with ICEP an Austria NGO, for 6 year’s project of Skills and Work are East Africa Resources(SWEAR): To contribute to the reduction of poverty in the areas surrounding the capitals of Kampala, Uganda, and Nairobi, Kenya in the context of pro-poor growth through the institutional and operational strengthening and consolidation of local capacity-building structures that provide technical and entrepreneurial training and empowerment for youth for ). The Institutions in Partnership were St.Kizito VTI, Imani Marianist VTC, and Eastlands College of Technology (ECT) an affiliate of Stramshore university.

In 2016 CoWA launched the Dual Training System courtesy of the SWEAR project funded by the ICEP-An Austria NGO, a Kenya initiative of training institutes and companies for technical qualification. It is a training system where 3 main stakeholders join hands in training, the industry, the government, and Vocational training institutions.

In 2017 CoWA successfully participated in the training of Sustainable development goals, Project cycle management, Monitoring, and Evaluation and Documentation, and reporting. In the same year, CoWA founded NETWORK OF VOCATIONAL EDUCATION STAKEHOLDERS IN KENYA(NVES) a network of Kenyan-based organizations namely; Eastlands College Technical (ECT), St. Kizito VTI & Imani Marianist VT. It was founded as a result of Skills and Work are Africa Resources (SWEAR). Aimed to promote meaningful vocational education training in Kenya through innovative training and impact-based models. One of such models is the Dual Training System which involves key players' participation e.g. industry players, TVET policymakers, and development partners in promoting practical-oriented curriculum based on mutual understanding.

In 2018 CoWA Launched its 5 years strategic plan( 2018-2022) with key thematic areas being: Grow & diversify CoWA’s funding base & partner linkages, Strengthen internal capacity to achieve program priorities, Proper program development, Forging partnerships to improve CoWA’s Competitive position and advocacy with keys stakeholders in Skills training and youth employment.

2019 CoWA participated in the Economic Inclusion of Young women with children living with disabilities in partnership with Call Africa, a 3-year project under the You Will Never Walk Alone(YWNWA) project in Urban areas of Ruaraka, Embakasi, and Kibera.

2020 CoWA launched its online Job Agency CoWARIC in partnership with ApaMoyo for job placement and training platform.

2021 CoWA Rebranded its programs to Services for jobseekers, Young entrepreneurs services, and Recruitment services for companies.

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