“I was able to pass all my exams in college because I was settled (mentally) after I got the Afya Elimu Fund loan.” Calvin Okoth AEF beneficiary
These were the words of Calvin Okoth, a recently graduated Afya Elimu Fund (AEF) loan beneficiary as he addressed over 70 guests during the Lake Basin Employer and Resource Mobilization forum held at the Vic Hotel in Kisumu.
Held on 27 September 2017, the forum was organized by the USAID funded HRH Kenya Mechanism in partnership with Higher Education Loans Board (HELB). The forum aimed at lobbying with health worker employers in the public and private sector to recruit AEF graduates so as to enable them commence repayment of their loans, a key step towards guaranteeing the sustainability of the fund.
A joint venture between the USAID funded HRH Kenya Mechanism, Higher Education Loans Board (HELB), the Ministry of Health (MOH) and contributors in the private sector. The fund provides low interest loans to students undertaking medical training in accredited mid-level medical training colleges. The goal of the fund is to increase the number of graduating health workers and ultimately contribute to addressing the shortage of health workers in health facilities in Kenya.
The forum was also an opportunity to invite contributions to the fund from the invited guests who included Human Resource (HR) Managers, Chief Executive Officers (CEOs), Chairpersons of various County Public Service Boards (CPSBs), in-charges of health facilities, corporates in the Lake Basin region and development partners who employ health workers. Other guests invited to the forum were AEF beneficiaries drawn from medical training colleges in Kisumu town as well as those who had recently graduated and are unemployed.
“I don’t know what I would have done if AEF did not come through for me” Lorna Akinyi, AEF beneficiary
The speakers selected broke down the requirements for getting a job in the public and private sector and advised the over 30 students in attendance to comply with Chapter Six of the Constitution of Kenya (2010) and ensure they have the requisite documentation at hand to aid their job search. The documents mentioned included; council/board practicing license, certificate of good conduct and, tax compliance certificates from Kenya Revenue Authority and HELB. This was to enable them beat the short deadlines for making job applications. AEF graduates were also encouraged to approach the labor market with an open mind and embrace opportunities to gain experience through volunteering, interning and short contracts. Such opportunities helped them build their skills, a key ingredient to landing a job.