Rural women graduate after being trained on life skills.

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West Pokot Governor John Lonyangapuo
West Pokot Governor John Lonyangapuo

More than 150 young women from marginalized pastoral areas in West Pokot County have graduated after being trained, mentored and empowered on life skills improvement program courtesy of County First Lady Dr. Mary Lonyangapuo and wives of Members of County Assembly.

The graduands from economically weaker backgrounds sat for examination after a year of training, completed training on tailoring and sewing skills and passed the examination administered by the Department of Vocational and Technical Training in seven VTCs across the County.

A section of graduands
A section of graduands

The program seeks to empower young rural women from vulnerable households who dropped out of school with different skills in the areas of tailoring and dress making, hand embroidery training, entrepreneurship, cookery, soap making, financial literacy and book keeping.

These skills empower women to venture into self-employment and generate income at the household level.

Speaking during the graduation ceremony on Sunday in Kapenguria Stadium, Dr Lonyangapuo noted that the program which started in 2019 provides vulnerable women with skills to help them live a meaningful life.

“Many women have benefited from the program. We target women in remote areas in all the 20 wards who are not working so that they can make a living from the skills. We cooperate with chiefs and ward administrators,” she said.

Dr. Lonyangapuo lauded men in the Pokot community for supporting the women in the program.

She explained that the program will help women to support and supplement men as bread-winners.

Dr. Lonyangapuo who is spearheading the program expressed optimism that the program was yielding fruits and many young women have benefited.

She requested the newly trained women to use the skills they acquired to emancipate themselves economically.

The County First Lady pointed out that the program will enable young women in the area to change their mind set saying that there is a need to empower them to realize their dreams.

“Many drop out of school and get married at an early age. Many have a hard life because of high poverty levels. We want our women to embrace education. Every woman has a right to a good life,” she said.

West Pokot Governor John Lonyangapuo called on more women from marginalized areas to join the program citing that its aims to uplift women from targeted households.

Prof. Lonyangapuo said the program will help raise the economic status of the County.

“What we have seen today is not normal. We have never seen rural women go to school to learn life skills,” said Prof Lonyangapuo.

He said that he will set up small industries in 80 locations within the County and equip them with sewing machines.

Ms Jane Cheruto, one of the trainees
Ms Jane Cheruto, one of the trainees

Ms. Jane Cheruto, one of the trainees, said that the training she has undergone has changed her life for the better.