In February 2017, Yusudi celebrates its first year anniversary. Yusudi is a life skills program targeting youth between 18 to 35 years of age. The program helps the youth to understand their unique professional value and combines this with necessary skills to help them grow as an employee or entrepreneur.
The Y in Yusudi stands for Youth while the rest comes from the Kiswahili word Kusudi meaning purpose. Yusudi helps youth to find their purpose in an interactive 4-month full time program. The program is a tool that enables youth to envision their future and design a personal path to reach it. Yusudi also helps to the bridge the gap between the youth and companies by providing intern pre-selection for partner companies and handling the interns training as well as providing mentorship during and after the internship.
As Yusudi celebrates its first year, they look back on a number of key milestones. First is being able to grow their trainee pool from 4 trainees in the first cohort in March 2016 to 18 trainees in February 2017. They also boast of an employment rate of 65% upon post program completion. Additionally, Yusudi represented Kenya in the 2016 Global Impact Accelerator Slush in Finland. According to slush.org, the Slush Global Impact Accelerator is a program created in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland and multiple partners globally. It connects startups and tech talents with top tier investors, executives and media. Its purpose is to create a leading global accelerator to support startups looking to solve some of the most pressing global challenges. Moreover, Yusudi helped organize the first vocational skills conference in cooperation with Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET), Kenya with 5000 youth attending.
A year ago, Charlotte De Ridder and Nastia Gutsol began Yusudi with an idea and a dream for the youth of Kenya. They were helped along the way by the work of their first employees Lionel, Rose, Adrianne and Rodgers who started working with them without pay as they shared in the same idea. A year later and with over 3000 applicants to the program, over 500 trainees supported in their life skills growth and over 90 full time program graduates, the future seems limitless.
For 2017, Yusudi plans to launch a Young Professional Program to build growth mindsets in entry-level employees and aspiring entrepreneurs and partner with high schools in order to start holistic and creative learning at a younger age. They also plan to digitize their program in order to grow to new locations in Nairobi.
Yusudi’s vision states: At Yusudi, we envision a world where every young person has an opportunity to develop and apply their best talents for self-fulfillment and common wealth. One year on and Yusudi have begun taking its first steps towards actualizing that vision.