Kakuma Vocational Center
Empowering one of the world's largest refugee camps to innovate their own way.
2020-2022, Kakuma, Kenya (Virtual)
Topics: Not for Profit / Team Development
In late 2020, one of the co-founders of the Kakuma Vocational Center (KVC), Matabishi Narukako John, reached out to the reshift team to provide Design Thinking training to young people in one of Africa’s largest refugee camps: Kenya's Kakuma Refugee Camp, with more than 200,000 people living there. KVC exists within the camp to provide training in life skills and technology usage for children and adults alike.
Since our team has experience working with the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the DTG team decided to put its extensive international development experience to work on this effort pro-bono.
The focus of this program was to introduce KVC teachers, from their mid-20s to their mid-40s, to Design Thinking to enhance program innovation at the refugee center.
This "Introduction to Design Thinking" course was a blended platform wherein the participants gathered in person in one location at the KVC while the facilitators Zoomed in to deliver instruction, coaching, and support.
The KVC team designed projects that would improve the camp and offered a variety of vocational programs. But it soon became clear that progress could not take flight until basic needs were met, because "a hungry belly has no ears."
So we connected KVC with a Nigerian resource who could train residents in soap making, and KVC leveraged Design Thinking to create a program that wold meet basic needs and offer business opportunities. As of October 2022, more than 100 women had been trained in soap making, and a growing soap-making industry has taken root in the camp. Read more on: Virtual Training for Kakuma Vocational Center in African Refugee Camp.