KITO International is a non-profit social enterprise with a simple philosophy: give street youth an economic opportunity, and they will work their way out of poverty and stay off the streets forever. We believe every youth has the ability to become self-sufficient; they only need an opportunity.
How does KITO get youth off the streets?
KITO provides our youth with an opportunity through an intensive two-month long training program. In order to keep our youth engaged outside the classroom and connected to their community, we also have a KITO football club and regularly scheduled community engagement days. To learn more about our programs and what our training program entails, click here.
What do KITO graduates go on to do?
After completing our training program, our youth graduate with the skills necessary to thrive. Our graduates go on to start their own businesses, find employment within other organizations, or become employed at KITO's business, EcoSafi. Meaning "clean environment" in Kiswahili, EcoSafi makes handcrafted gift bags and cards as well as custom sandals--all sourced from recycled materials. To learn more about how the business serves as a hands-on method of learning for our youth, click here.
Measuring Our Impact
Why do we measure our impact?
We are committed to measuring our impact to understand the changes that our youth go through and to continuously assess and improve our program activities. KITO International aims to get youth off the streets, and we believe that providing youth with economic opportunities is the best way to do it. We focus on measuring youth employment outcomes. Specifically, we look at how long youth are able to remain employed or self-employed in a job following their involvement with KITO.
Why do we measure the time a youth holds a job?
The lives of street youth are plagued by instability. KITO aims to give youth the opportunity to develop the skills required for a lifetime of self-sufficiency, so they will never have to return to the street again. Youth who are employed in productive jobs for at least two years following KITO will have a much higher likelihood of being employable for life. Whether they are employed by KITO, another employer, or are self-employed, measuring the ability of youth to find and maintain employment will indicate the depth of our impact.
What else do we track?
We also look at savings and income. Savings indicates a mentality of planning for the future, and income is a marker of a youth's professional growth, both of which are good indicators of a youth's likelihood of remaining off the streets.
How do we do collect this data?
At the start of each hiring period, we conduct a baseline survey of all incoming youth. KITO then conducts follow-up surveys every 6 months. These surveys are conducted via mobile phone through short interviews or SMS messages. We also compare our recidivism rates with those of traditional rehabilitation and orphanage programs to see how long youth who undergo our program stay off the streets compared to our peer organizations.
In addition to these measurements, we use photographs and video to capture the qualitative stories that highlight the transformation our youth undergo. Creating these stories is a powerful way for KITO youth to reflect on their accomplishments and build their self-esteem. Furthermore through ongoing feedback sessions, our program staff and KITO youth reflect on the design of the KITO model, so that we are constantly making improvements. The potential of the KITO model is tremendous. As we continue to refine our approach, we will discover how to create jobs and keep youth off the streets. Ongoing monitoring and evaluation of our impact is critical to our helping KITO youth and eventually the millions of others around the world who are waiting for the opportunity.