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Promoting Life Skills and Livelihoods (S4L)

Turkana County, where the S4L Project is being implemented, is the largest county in Kenya and one of the most impoverished and marginalised regions with 90% of the population living below the poverty line. The county has an estimated population of 1,427,797 inhabitants with youth aged between 16- and 29-years accounting for about 31.78%. It accommodates the Kakuma Refugee Camp and Kalobeyei Integrated Settlement which is home to approximately 185,449 registered refugees and asylum-seekers comprising 21 nationalities. Of this, the Somali and South Sudanese residents account for 31.7% and 49.2% respectively.

Established in 1992 to mainly accommodate refugees fleeing the Sudan civil war, Kakuma Refugee Camp hosts the majority of fugitives, while Kalobeyei Integrated Settlement, which was established in 2014, is mainly populated by more recent refugees from South Sudan following the recent conflict.

With an economic system mainly dependent on land, the county faces various challenges brought about by recurrent drought, the rapid growth of the local population and continued influx of refugees. This has exacerbated the vulnerability of the local livelihood systems and weakened the local economy. Youth from the host and refugee communities are the most affected as they lack productive resources and face limited livelihood options.

The Project

The Skills 4 Life Project aims to strengthen the income generating capabilities of 2,500 youth aged between 16 and 25 years by enhancing access to technical skills trainings, financial, life and literacy skills for improved livelihoods. It targets both members of the host community and refugees living in Kakuma Refugee Camp and Kalobeyei Integrated Settlement located in Turkana County in the North Western region of Kenya.

The project uses the Learning Group (LG) model to deliver non-formal technical skills training which is complemented by structured apprenticeships, life skills and business development support. This provides youth with well-rounded skills that improve their competitiveness as they transition into the local labour market. The Learning Groups are homogenous, self-selected, self-managed and comprise of people with similar interests.

The project is implemented in partnership with other stakeholders. These are private sector businesses, non-governmental institutions, community-based organisations and government agencies who are provided with short-term technical and financial support to deliver various aspects of the project.

Project Goals

The project aims to create the below impact for the refugee and host community:

  • Increase access to market-driven skills for 2,500 youth;
  • Increase financial and business management capabilities for 2,000 youth;
  • Enhance resilience and livelihood coping for 3,000 members; and
  • Recreate a sustainable model for non-formal skills development, test and document it.


Results in 2018

  • 752 beneficiaries (494 female) from 42 learning groups (19 from the refugee community, 22 from the host community and one mixed group) received technical skills training in various trades.
  • 595 trainees (383 female) successfully completed the training.
  • 634 beneficiaries (355 female) were engaged in waged/selfemployment as a result of the training.
  • 48 business groups were formed and realised revenue of CHF 41,013 and a total profit of CHF 25,618.

Swiss Foundation for Technical Cooperation
Hardturmstrasse 123
CH-8005 Zurich

Tel. +41 44 454 17 17
Fax +41 44 454 17 97
E-Mail info@STOP-SPAM.swisscontact.org