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Milk processor empowering youth in Kibera with business skills, reducing poverty and crime

Dickson Mulli of Milele Fresh Milk Company
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Mr. Dickson Mulli holding a packet of Milele Fresh milk at the comapny’s head office in Kilimani, Nairobi. The company is engaging the youth in low income areas in business mentorship programme. Photo courtesy.

Millele Fresh Milk, a dairy processing company with its head office in Kilimani, Nairobi and regional offices in Limuru and Yatta is targeting youths in Kibera among other low income areas in the city with business training and opportunities in a bid to impact them with the necessary skills in the industry reducing crime and poverty among them.

According to the 2015 Situation of Youth and Children in Kibera survey by Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI), an independent, non-profit research institution and a major international centre in policy-oriented and applied development research, 26.6 per cent of the respondents mentioned unemployment as their main problem followed by drug abuse and lack of education at 15.2 and 12.5 per cent respectively.

This has so far according to the survey seen a number of young people involve themselves in theft, mugging and robbery at 30.2 per cent, drug peddling and abuse/use at 13.5 per cent, prostitution at 5.6 per cent while rape and abortion at 4.4 and 4.2 per cent respectively.

“We understand the problem of most youth in these low income areas especially Kibera which is the biggest slum dwelling in Nairobi, this is why we have a Youth Empowerment Mentorship Programme through which we pass business skills and opportunities for some source of income,” said Mr. Dixon Mulli, the company’s CEO.

It all started in 2006 when Mulli who is also an IT expert, entrepreneur and with deep interest in youth mentorship, visiting schools among other institutions both on invitation and voluntarily to give motivational talks something which saw the youth frequently contact him for insights in business.

“Sometimes I could be invited to give motivational talks at a fee while in other occasions I volunteered to talk to the young people as part of my passion. I could connect some youths with other experts I knew were doing well in their various lines of businesses for more help.”

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At some point he started engaging the youth in Kibera in his Milele Fresh milk distribution system as a way of passing business skills to them and giving the to earn extra money besides their dues from their daily hustles.

In this system the company would appoint youth community leaders then train them for free. They will later identify the youth from their respective locations who could be interested in being part of the system.

“We train these youths once in a month for free in an event where we also incorporate the local administration to make aware our business operations for necessary support just in case,” said Mulli.

Upon receiving trainings, the youth are registered with their respective community youth leaders where they are required to meet simple requirements like waking up at 4:30 am pick the milk from their respective community based depots then distribute it to various local shops until 7:00 am when they are set free to embark on their daily hustles.

“This helps them earn at least Sh300 depending on their various efforts within the three morning hours. This makes a very big difference for the youth who are committed as compared to the rest who just focus on a single casual job without any other source of income.”

In the CMI survey, 51.1 per cent of the youth in Kibera were found to be dependent and only 28.5% of youth were found to be engaged in small-scale income-generating activities and only 16.45% reported to be in formal employment.

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Mulli is happy that since the business mentorship programme for the youth over 50 of them have benefited and involving the local administration and the local youth community leaders have help in ensuring its success.

“We have never experienced any problem with the youths because we work with willing individuals with a focus to change their lives for the better and having their own leadership has also help in achieving the goal.”

“We are now started replicating the programme to other areas which include Githurai, Mukuru kwa Ruben, Kawangware, Eastleigh and South B among other places as we encourage the youths in taking part in beneficial social and economic practices and not otherwise.”

Currently the company enjoys milk collection from about five saccos or farmer cooperatives through which they source milk from farmers across Nyandarua, Kiambu and Machakos counties with cooling plants in Limuru and Yatta.

Milele Fresh is a sister company to Synergy Solutions Kenya Limited (Synergy LTD) which is an investment and management company that has interests in real estate, food production, farming and agricultural consultancy, software development, construction of buildings and roads.

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Milele Fresh

You can reach Milele Fresh Milk Company on +254 713865665 or Email: [email protected] or Website: www.milelefresh.co.ke


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