Supporting New Growth

Introducing Kazi Nyingi

Kazi Nyingi, in kiswahilli, means a lot of work. The purpose of the Kazi Nyingi project is to create “a lot of work” for underprivileged young people in East Africa. 46% of Kenyans live below the poverty line and 40% of Kenyans are unemployed or economically inactive*, earning less than $1.90 per day per capita**. There are similar needs in surrounding countries.

Josh Smith was born and raised in Kenya. He was always interested in problem solving, technology, and business. After college, with a Digital Media degree, Josh began working as a web designer and developer. He operates at the intersection of technology and business, wearing many hats, overseeing operations and software development.

Josh started his own web design company, which included managing remote teams of developers in India. He built a stable client base and a variety of software solutions, though mostly focused on ecommerce and online payment solutions. Josh has also supported online donations for TyingVines since 2013. His dream was to eventually build a team of designers and developers in Kenya, and beyond, to support his growing web company.

Josh’s aspirations were accelerated when he was asked to help start a new organization focused on using business process outsourcing (BPO) to create jobs for people with physical disabilities in Kenya. He closed his company to help start this new business and serves as Chief Operating Officer. Many would say that a child with physical disabilities in East Africa is lucky to attend university. As such, the greatest need and highest concentration of unemployed individuals will be largely unqualified to work at a technology company. Josh started the Kazi Nyingi project to explore ways to fix this. Kazi Nyingi will be an inclusive job provider, creating a lot of work for a wide demographic of underprivileged and marginalized young people.

Kazi Nyingi will focus on three areas: peripheral projects, training programs and low-tech job creation. In the course of starting the new organization, there have been many ideas that didn’t fit with the business plan. So, peripheral projects could support some of these ideas. There are other TyingVines projects providing typing and coding to refugees and homeless youth. Kazi Nyingi will develop training programs to help fill the gap between skills training and gainful employment. On the low-tech side, Josh has multiple product ideas, like a unique hammock design, that could be manufactured with skills and equipment found locally in East Africa.

Josh lives in Pennsylvania with his wife and four children. His wife is a photographer and they are high-school sweethearts that met in Kenya.

*2016 UNDP Human Development Report. **World Bank Poverty and Equity Report

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