When Eric Chege was a boy growing up in Murang’a, he was always bothered by the unavailability of water for domestic use near their home. Many families in their neighborhood had to go long distances to fetch water or purchase it from water vendors. This background planted a desire in Eric to study plumbing to address the issue.
He attended Mukangu High School and completed his secondary studies in 2018. Thereafter, Eric got involved doing a variety of odd jobs to keep busy and earn upkeep money. Eric’s was raised by a single mother, who trades in secondhand clothes and also runs a small hotel, and his sister.
While going about doing odd jobs, Eric heard about the Young Africa Works project from a friend, he applied and was accepted onto the programme. He attended his training at Christian Industrial Training Centre (CITC) Pumwani over a period of three months and then joined construction at the Ngong-Kibiko site to assemble greenhouses. “It has been good,” said Eric, “at least I can earn something,” he added. He pointed out that the best part of the deal for him was that he got an opportunity to gain plumbing skills and other skills such as masonry. “I can build a greenhouse from zero to the end,” he said proudly.
What does he enjoy most about his work? “I enjoy the fact that I am at work and I am busy. I feel happy. I am also looking forward to start my own business as soon as possible,” he said. He noted that starting a business is not an easy task and one has to save and accumulate capital to do it. He is putting something small away as he plans how to launch a construction business or a hardware in the not distant future.
On another front, Eric is already dating a lady called Abiglli. She is still in college studying accounting. Eric said she is also committed to join him in the construction sector. “The skills I have will help me even after I leave Arcskills. I can use the the training to look for a job or start a business,” He said. He also pointed out that making a good product was a matter of priority.
The future looks bright for Eric, and his huge smile and enthusiastic responses revealed a young man who is focused on a path he felt he could travel and achieve something significant. “You have to have goals for you to work on and feel you have made progress,” he noted. He said that he encouraged his peers to join the Young Africa Works Programme so that they too would gain skills, make a living, and get a chance to own businesses.