Kisumu county officers from the department of Youth, Gender and PWDs attended a two-day training as from Thursday this week to enhance support on access to decent work and strategies of offering and monitoring youth empowerment services.
The workshop organised at the Le savanna Country Hotel in Kisumu courtesy of Forum for International Cooperation (FIC) in Partnership with Youth Alive Kenya (YAK), is expected to create a better understanding of effective engagement and identification of strategies with government officials to ensure greater project impact and sustainability, enhance capacity of government officers and partners on effective monitoring of youth empowerment initiatives with available collaboration opportunities and strengthen linkages and partnerships.
While presiding over the official opening of the workshop, the Chief Officer, Mr. Haggai Kadiri expressed optimism in ensuring the agenda of the youth is a priority in relation to job opportunities, issuing bursaries for youths to join Vocational Training Centres (VTCs).
He commended the partners for the support in realising the vision of the youths. He added the county has set aside resources such as social centres and the county revolving funds that can be utilised to realize the dreams of the youths.
He however called on the partners to come up with programs that uplift the Boda boda riders who are the majority of youths who require life skills trainings.
On her part, the Director VTC, Madam Paschalia Ouma in her presentation highlighted the status and challenges of the County VTCs.
Out of the 26 institutions 21 have been legally registered and the rest five are in the pipeline. There are also plans by the directorate of VTCs to have an institution in each ward with specialties going forward.
Some of the challenges outlined were lack of policies, few instructors, low budget allocation and negative perceptions by parents and students on VTCs
The participants were advised on the need to scan their institutions, identify the training gaps and align the trainings to the market demands. It was also resolved that advocacy and civic education be hyped to avert the negative perceptions.
The Facilitator from Forum for International Cooperation (FIC), Mr. Erastus Ouko in his presentation enumerated the strategies for resource mobilisation through assessment fundraising, using success stories, clearly defined programs with impact, knowing the existing funders and partners among others.
The training saw the participants draft an action plan to chart the way forward on matters youth empowerment activities led by the County Youth Officer, Mr. George Orude.
The Forum for International Centre in partnership with Youth Alive Kenya through bridge grant program designed to run as from the year 2017 to 2020, have collaborated with the county to implement other programs targeting the youths which include: capacity building on labour market, business skills and entrepreneurship, advocacy on youth policies, business mentorship and career guidance.
The participants also included: Martin Owino of Boya VTC, Gladys Akinyi of Akado VTC, Simeon Ogonda, Cardinal Elias Komenya of ECJP, Nancy Okal of Ajiry, Tom Joe Omollo, Fiona Okwiri and Adah Omedi county officials among other invited participants.
By Emily Mikwa
Kisumu Deputy Governor, Dr Mathew Owili joined local residents and Persons with Disability in marking the White Cane Awareness Day on Thursday.
The ceremony held at the Mama Grace Onyango Social Centre, is celebrated every 15th October to commemorate the achievements of visually impaired persons. However, the celebrations came late this year due to effects of Covid 19 pandemic.
This year’s theme “My Cane, My Right to Inclusion” demonstrates the significance of the White cane to a person with visual impairment.
The White Cane is a tool with a symbol of mobility and independence to the visually impaired persons, which allows them to move freely and safely.
While representing Kisumu Governor, Professor Nyong’o at the event, Dr Owilli congratulated his boss for being ranked Fourth among the best performing governors in the 47 counties.
In the poll, conducted by Infotrack Research, Prof Nyong’o also emerged the best among the First Term governors.
Concerning the celebrations, Dr. Owili outlined the strides the county government has made in mainstreaming disability issues into policy frameworks.
Out of the 1.5Million residents of Kisumu, 39,929 are PWDs who have been accorded rights and privileges as enshrined in the 2010 Constitution of Kenya. So far 43 companies belonging to PWDs are doing business worth 53million with the county.
Employment and provision of equal opportunities has seen 124 PWDs secure jobs across all carders.
Dr. Owili commended the Governor’s advisor on matters disability, Madam Caroline Agwanda for steering the enactment of the Disability law in the county, making Kisumu the first county to have Disability law in Kenya.
He thanked the Kenya Society for the Blind for donating 10 computers to assist the visually impaired persons to access information, 100 white canes to the visually impaired persons and the Lions club for food donations to the PWDs to celebrate
He further promised to continue strengthening partnerships On PWDs to implement the UN convention on the rights of PWDs and ensure disability is mainstreamed in the SDGs leaving no one behind.
The Chairman National Council of Persons with disabilities, Hon. Peter Muchiri thanked Kisumu for hosting the event and called on stakeholders to engage with the visually impaired on issues affecting them.
He also called on the media not only to highlight challenges but also contributions made by the PWDs.
The Chairman Kenya Society for the Blind, Mr Samson Waweru, on his part emphasized on the importance of the white cane as an important tool to the visually impaired.
He added that the Kenya Society for the Blind donated 10 computers to launch a regional hub for adaptive technology for the blind not to be left behind in the technology space. He applauded Kisumu County for being the first in the Country to launch such a centre.
The County Executive Member for Education, ICT and HRD, Mr. John Obiero Awiti said he will consider the number of PWDs to benefit from bursaries to be issued and also promised to work on the amendments for their own fund account to cater for their unique challenges.
The representative for chairperson Kisumu PWD board, Madam Truphena Akoth thanked the county for providing an office that accommodates PWDs and requested that the same provisions be done in other offices including the social amenities for easy access.
During the function, an office was opened at the centre to be used by PWDs in their administration.
The function was also attended by a host of top county officials, Officers from the department of Education and Human Resource Development among other invited guests.
By Emily Mikwa
The county government of Kisumu in partnership with the Kenya Female Advisory Organization ( KEFEADO )and the National Taxpayers Association (NTA), held a community forum to engage residents of Manyatta B on Tax justice conversations. The forum was hosted by the area MCA, Ms Pamela Odhiambo.
The main objective of the forum was to equip the residents with information on how their taxes were being put to use by the governments.
The forum was attended by the governor’s advisor on People Living with Disability Affairs, Hon. Caroline Agwanda, who urged the participants comprising small scale business people, boda boda riders, to utilize the funds provided by the county government including, the trade fund and the women, youth and PWDs Fund by the county government to boost their livelihoods.
The meeting also educated residents on the need for paying taxes in addition to demanding for quality service delivery. National Taxpayers Association, Executive Director, Madam Irene Atieno emphasized on the need for the local community to be educated on the importance of paying tax and also ensuring equity for those who pay tax to the county government, adding that NTA seeks tax Justice by ensuring transparent, accountable revenue generation to restore the taxes to whom they are due.
While acknowledging the importance of the forum, executive director of KEFEADO, Madam Easter Okech, noted that strengthening essential public service delivery to ensure equal provision of the rights to health, access to water and sanitation, decent housing and sufficient mass transportation services, especially in the context of the unprecedented global crisis COVID-19 can solely be achieved through tax justice.
Ms Odhiambo, on her part said that the forum was meant to engage the voices of Manyatta B residents, in addressing challenges within the community, promising that the various projects by the county government will soon be completed, having been budgeted for.
The forum was an opportunity to underscore the need for a people-driven taxation system that promotes progressive taxation as well as the provision of quality and adequate resources, especially for the low-income residents.
The residents were also educated on the need for paying taxes in addition to demanding for quality service delivery.
By Jackline Omondi
Governor’s Advisor on PWD Affairs Hon.Caroline Agwanda (centre) joined by National Taxpayers Association- NTA Executive Director Ms Irene Otieno (left) and Kenya Female Advisory Organization -KEFEADO Executive Director Ms Easter Okech (3rd left) presenting Kangas to Manyatta “B” women who turned up for a Community Tax Justice engagement forum. The event was a organized in partnership with County Government of Kisumu, KEFEADO, NTA and County Assembly brought together Boda-boda operators and women traders from Manyatta B Waerd who also engaged in various sporting activities. (Picture By Jacob Owiti)
Mama Ida Odinga Trust is seeking out partnerships with County Governments’ nationally to roll out a three-month campaign to address rising teenage pregnancies and child marriages.
Dubbed Linda Kesho, the program aims to halt new cases and stir up a national debate on the prevalence.
Kisumu is one of the four counties involved in the program, piloted by the NGO, others are Siaya, Kilifi and Narok.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the last four months have seen an upsurge in the percentage of teen pregnancies countrywide with Kisumu recording 3500 cases between January and June this year, according to reports from the Health Department.
In a meeting today with a delegation from the Trust, Deputy Governor Dr. Mathew Owili expressed concerns over the rising number of teenage pregnancies in the county.
According to statistics from a recent survey by the National Council on Population and Development, one in five girls aged between 15 and 19 in Kenya is either pregnant or has given birth already. He called for a collective responsibility and active engagement at the grassroots to ensure all cases are recorded, following a national directive issued by the Head of State.
President Uhuru Kenyatta yesterday ordered a probe on the rising cases of teenage pregnancies and gender-based violence across the country. This will ensure all pregnant school girls are registered to access free and post-natal care offered by the government.
To stem the wave, the County Government through the Department of Gender has brought onboard key stakeholders to actively engage and sensitize the youth on reproductive health. In addition, the county government has laid out an elaborate approach to expedite judicial processes in dispensing justice to affected victims.
The project will be spearheaded by County First Ladies through administrative structures with support from their county units.
By Collins Owuor