Jitenge group of ten women in Soysambu -Mitua ward in Tongaren Constituency have begun lunch program in schools with the aim of up scaling education standards of the community which has been going down year in year out.
The ten Jitenge Women group was formed in conjunction with the Mitua location Chief Gladys Wanjala who said she always felt heartbreaking anytime she saw the number of learners especially in ECD and lower primary reducing in schools within her locality and by investigating she realized most of them lack food in their homes and it becomes a problem going to school on empty stomachs and some ended up stealing sugarcane from neighborhood something that really touched her.
” I really want to thank the Jitenge Women group for the initiative, it has really touched my heart am now at peace and I know children will go back to school now that they are assured of the food and I believe the academic standards will go up, am really happy,” said the area Chief.
On her part, the Jitenge group chair lady Mrs.Marystela Kamwesa said the program is aimed at improving not only academic standards of the ward but also uplifting livelihood of the area by making sure that they come up with income generating activities that will keep some homesteads busy and at the end of the day have something on the table economically and also be able to support their children in terms of school fees.
She was fast to add that the program is devoid of politics and they have been using their own little resources to finance the program but appealed to well-wishers and sons and daughters of the community among them West Media programme’s Manager Nandemu Barasa and his counterpart Sammy Kisondio of Sulwe FM who come from the area and have had the privilege to support their course so that they can support the vulnerable in the community whose numbers seem overwhelming.
” We are blessed that we have our own sons and daughters whom we are proud of, they have been helping us for a long time but we still need their hand in this initiative which is a noble program, we have some of them like our own Emmanuel Nandemu Barasa and Sammy Kisondio who come from within to support us in any way possible, we don’t want this program to die but if we unite then this will succeed and help many of our children in the community,” said Mrs. Kamwesa
The area MCA in Bungoma County Assembly who attended the official launch, Stephen Wafula Wamalwa lauded the program and promised to support it fully but said he intends to sponsor a motion in Parliament that will make the government set aside money within the budget for the Ministry of Education to cater for lunch of the ECD pupils who fall within their mandate.
” We have seen the county government of Bungoma overstepping on their mandate and doing national government projects and they forget its roles so this group has been an eye opener and I intent to take a bill in the Parliament for the executive to set aside funds for such programs in schools especially for the ECD,” said Wamalwa.
He cautioned the group to avoid politics in the program that may end up dividing them and kill the great dream they have but instead work together and get friends and partners that will support it.
The program was officially launched by Ndalu Division Assistant County Commissioner Mrs.Beatrice Makubi who also congratulated the group for their generosity and appealed for well-wishers to join hands with the group and warned parents who will be found staying with the children at home that they will face the law.
Teachers from different schools lauded too the program and asked the pupils to work hard and after successful completion of their academics to get back and touch lives in the community.