Youth LITE Kenya

Youth LITE Kenya: Harambee Projects

Nairobi, KenyaNairobi, Kenya
Year Founded:
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Project Stage:
$1,000 - $10,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Imagine a world made better through Harambee [collective action].  Not just through fund raising but people coming together to tackle challenges and problems they experience as they purpose for development. Imagine youth being engages in such an experience. 

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if companies outsourced projects to university students and used this experiences to develop their skills?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

In Kenya youth aged 15-35 account for 40% of the population. Out of this percentage, at least 6 million youth remain unemployed, thereby accounting for 61% of all unemployed people. It is estimated that this number will grow to 24 million by the year 2030. Currently, poverty and unemployment have become a huge challenge nationally.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Youth LITE Kenya steps in to assist in meeting the youth labor market failures. This initiative is youth run and facilitates an innovative experiential educational programme which brings together university students from different disciplines to collaborate, co-create and co-develop systems and innovations in response to real-life challenges set by companies [Challenge-setters] Within the framework of the Harambee programme, challenges are presented to participating students who, within teams. Each team is free to choose a challenge that motivates them and work towards developing a solution. The challenges serve as a starting point in the innovation process.


Watson Institute Scholarship
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

One client provides one project to our student community and the students break down into smaller teams of 4or 5 to work on it. This is our primary model of creating a healthy completion among the students who become spurred on by each other. The projects [tagged challenges] serve as a starting point in the innovation process, with students’ first becoming acquainted with the challenge and its context, defining the problem, and then ideating and testing viable solutions. Currently, in partnership with one of our current clients [Jacaranda Publishers], we have opened a conservation challenge. Each participant will propose, design, complete, and make a presentation of a project which is not part of their academic sequence.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

We are currently setting our first project oriented challenge in partnership with established companies and organizations including Jacaranda Publishers, M-Shamba LTD, Youth Banner, Ashoka youth venture and changemaker schools as well as Global Education Fund Kenya. All stakeholders involved currently appreciate the value of the program. Global Education Fund Kenya plus Ashoka Changemaker schools came on board to implement our concept in the changemaker schools within East Africa.The program which is to start in 2016 is set so as to provoke a changemaker attitude within the students in the schools. On the other hand, Jacaranda Publisher, M-Shamba and Youth Banner are our first early adopters. In partnership with the companies we are currently setting challenges in the fields of environmental conservation, African Literature and Marketing. The latter challenges target university students.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

We believe that this is a socially and economically sound venture as we are working in partnership with an established brands including Ashoka East Africa and Global Education Fund Kenya. Additionally, our model employs a collaborative approach in providing opportunities. Our scaling strategies includes partnering with as tertiary learning institutions, working with the Kenya Private Sector and stakeholders within skill development and Youth Empowerment. This is our HARAMBEE strategy, collective action strategy. Through this alliances we are able to reach our target market and objective.

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

Currently, to engage in any project, the initiative charges companies 400-800 $ for facilitating the projects and skill training forums associate with each project. The charges vary depending with the nature, calendar and resources needed for the project. Subsequently, students pay 5 $ to participate in any opportunity. To meet additional costs the foundation is applying for grants and donations.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

There are currently a number of stakeholders involved in addressing the unemployment challenge is Kenya. The government is at the forefront offering, through Kenya Private Sector Alliance, placement and skill development training. In addition to this, various private initiatives have been set up to aid in addressing the challenges. The Harambee Program is unique and complementary to all these since it incorporates team-work, project oriented learning, skills development and a playful challenge to ensure that there is value for all stakeholders involved. Thus setting it apart from the rest.

Founding Story

Over the past year, in Kenya we have lost over 147 students to terrorism, drug abuse and criminal violence. Bryan Chesol, a founding member lost a friend to Criminal violence. It took him losing a friend to realize that we, youth, can not sit back and watch as we lose many more to this activities. The team bonded over a shared loss and decided to act. After spending time researching on how to do so, an idea came to mind, an idea to bridge the gap between learning institutions and the corporate world through projects. The team would source for projects from companies and willing companies would outsource the projects. The team would then crowdsource students who would do it.


The team is made up of four key members Bryan Chesoli is the Co-founder and the current CEO of the initiative. He is a graduate from the University of Nairobi having done a Bachelor of Arts and majored in Geography, Environmental Studies and Sociology. Bryan prides himself as a young professional who is charismatic and passionate about all matters concerning youth empowerment. He has been involved in World Youth Alliance Intern program, is a Scholar at Watson Institute in the Philippines and he looks forward to attending more international youth focused events, trainings and forums. Patriciah Ndungu is the Co-founder and CFO of the initiative. She has a Bachelor of Economics from the University of Nairobi and is also a CPA graduate from Strathmore University. One of her goals is to establish several projects to enable vulnerable communities to be self sufficient through promotion of education, good health and proper sanitation. Ian Nato is the CO-founder and CTO of the initiative. He is a graduate from St. Paul’s University holding a Bachelor in Business and Information Technology. Ian is a sociable young professional with extensive knowledge in the Information Communication and Technology sector. His passion for technology has seen him intern at Huawei Technologies as well as work for Valleypoint Telecoms Ltd. Ian envisions a country where technology improves the livelihood of the youthful generation. The team is also supported by a Board of Advisors and mentors including an Ashoka fellow, founder of Youth Banner; A socail entrepreneur, founder of Sisi Ni Moja and others.
File attachments: