The Index Project
Index Award 2015 Finalists
An initiative that creates jobs in informal settlements alongside providing green products to foster more efficient and sustainable communities.

Youth unemployment is an issue that affects almost all nations, and with growing populations and strained economies, the problem is only becoming worse in a number of areas. Africa is one of the continents with the highest rates of employment. According to the International Labor Organization, today African youth are almost twice as likely to be unemployed than their elders.

While nation-wide initiatives may be ideal for tackling such significant issues, smaller projects are proving to be greatly effective in directly engaging participants and reducing unemployment in local communities.

With the motto of “we talk opportunity, not poverty”, LivelyHoods is a successful initiative based in Nairobi, Kenya creating quality jobs for youth living in urban slums. Through building a network of door-to-door salesman, LivelyHoods gives youth the opportunity to earn an honest living by selling green consumer goods in their villages. The project hires employees based on their attitudes not experience and provides them with hands-on training, allowing them to develop into successful sales agents in their local areas. Aside from steady employment, sales agents also earn commission for each product sold.

By selling green consumer goods - such as clean cooking stoves, solar lamps and hygiene items - the initiative is able to replace the potentially harmful appliances and products widely used in slum communities. Through the sales process, agents also spread valuable knowledge about energy conservation, pollution and female health. Not only does the initiative create jobs and improve health, but it greatly improves access to affordable and quality products in low resource areas.