Members of the Kiaora Disability Group based in Juja Kiambu County have benefitted from a donation of foodstuff from the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT).
The over 30-member disability group received food stuff in form of maize flour and vegetables all produced by the University through its production directorate under the Research, Production and Extension Division.
Speaking while making the donation at JKUAT on Thursday, February 2, 2023, the Vice Chancellor, Prof, Victoria Wambui Ngumi, noted that she was “very excited and delighted to welcome the members of Kiaora to the University to touch base on how they are faring on, as well as to share with them the little the university has produced from its farming activities.”
The Vice Chancellor recollected the close working relationship the University had been able to achieve with the group, dating back to 2014, when the university provided a temporary physical address where the group could work on the production of beaded baskets, purses, table mats and a host of other artistic items, within the precincts of the university.
Prof. Ngumi noted that the University Management had resolved to support members of Kiaora in terms of foodstuff, especially during these hard economic times when many people are facing challenges.
The Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Research, Production and Extension Division, Prof. Jackson Kwanza, acknowledged the great work the group has achieved right from training to becoming trainers of other groups in the community and urged them to double their efforts, assuring them of the readiness to work together.
The Chairman of Kiaora Disability Group, Mr, Joseph Githu Kuria, while appreciating the generous support extended to them said, “We are happy and grateful to the JKUAT Management for showing people living with disabilities a lot of love through their support.
The university supported our training, giving us space and donating raw materials we used to make the beads artwork way back in 2014. ”
Mr. Kuria appreciated JKUAT for providing them with the chance to display their bead art and basketry work at the Central Kenya ASK Show and Nairobi International Trade Fair, giving them a rare opportunity to meet former President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Mr. Kuria further said, he had received invitations from other corporates because of the support and mentorship JKUAT had extended to them, noting it is not easy to stand with people with disabilities. He stated that as a group they are forever grateful to the University and the Vice Chancellor.
He urged other institutions to emulate the good work of JKUAT and assist them to enhance their activities.
The Kiaora Disability Group was trained in Bead Art Training Course, which covered the production of beaded baskets, purses, table-mats, and other artistic items.
The training was organized under the auspices of the then University Community Collaboration Department (UCCD), now restructured under the Directorate of Extension and Community Outreach Services and spearheads Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives.
Director of Extension and Community Outreach Services Mr. Jeremiah Mbugua while giving the mandate of his directorate to the community, reassured the members of the group of the University’s readiness to “walk with them and assist them explore opportunities including writing of proposals.
The brief function, moderated by Registrar, RPE, Dr. Joseph Obwogi, was also attended Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Administration, Prof, Bernard Ikua, Registrars: Dr. Rose Githu (Administration) and Dr. Aggrey Wanyama (Academic Affairs); Farm Manger, Mr. Joseph Sang, and members of the Kiaora Disability Group.