The Eastlands Project (Eastlands College of Technology) began in early 2003 when the trustees of Strathmore Educational Trust (SET) decided to appoint a committee to study the possibility of beginning an activity to benefit the less privileged people of Nairobi. After visiting Ministries and other NGOs the issue was settled to begin an educational initiative because this is an area of competence of SET.
The next step was to determine the kind of activity. Visiting the Ministry of Labor we were told that there was a need to address the Jua Kali Sector. It was thought that the entrepreneurial expertise of SET that initiated the first Accountancy School in Kenya could be put to the service of these micro-entrepreneurs, and with that, the Informal Sector Business Institute was created, to teach basic Accounting, Management, Marketing, Business, English and Business Ethics to active people in the Jua Kali Sector. The lecturers of Strathmore University prepared the syllabus and taught the first group of trainees. Since then, this program has been called the “Streets MBA” and over 500 people have benefited from it.
At the same time, a small house in Uhuru Phase IV Estate was rented so that it could be used to help Standard 8 pupils in their studies through mentoring and availing them a study facility.
With the help of ICEP (Austria), Microsoft (Basic Computers’ training), and Samsung Electronics (electronics training) the activities were extended to young men who had finished Primary School and were looking to do something that would open their future.