The 2012 edition of the Incountry Women Training programme came to an end, Friday September 7, 2012, in a colourful ceremony punctuated by dance and performances by the graduate trainees.
Under the theme of Incubating grass root women capacity for sustainable Socio-economic empowerment and livelihoods transformation, the three week course equipped the participants with skills, knowledge and networks requisite in poverty eradication and wealth creation.
And as the training curtains came down, the 56 participants were unequivocally unanimous that the opportunity had changed their world view, brought new hope and inspired them to actualize a new future modeled on the learned experiences.
Lucy Nkatha, a physically challenged trainee from Igembe South, particularly underscored the pivotal role of the programme to the people living with disabilities. “Disabled people face insurmountable obstacles in their pursuit of informational and financial resources. This programme has reversed that”, avers Lucy, adding that with her new found insights, she will lead a normal life, just like other members of the society.
Mary Achieng the representative of the trainees , equally lauded the initiative and challenged her contemporaries to engage in exchange visits once they return to their counties and share the learned knowledge and skill with other rural women. She alluded to the old mantra that, “when you empower a woman, you empower not only a family but the entire country”.
The initiative, a joint venture between JKUAT and the government of Japan – through the Japanese International Corporation Agency (JICA) has seen thousands of women drawn from all over the country receive basic training in agriculture, entrepreneurship, project management and leadership.
Due to its success and relevance to modern Kenya’s economy, the women training programme has attracted complementary partners, key among them, the Women Enterprise Fund.
While officiating the closing ceremony, the CEO, Women Enterprise Fund, Mr. W. Wainaina urged the trainees to cascade learned skills and experiences to other grass root women and forward funding proposal to the fund for consideration.
Mr. Wainaina who represented Dr. Naomi Shaban, the Minister for Gender, Children and Social Development also appealed to JICA to continue its support to the Kenyan women in collaboration with JKUAT.
“There is only one thing that auctioneers will never repossess; knowledge. So use it to empower yourselves economically”, exhorted the CEO.
Speaking to the graduate trainees, Ms. Tomoko Taira, the Chief JICA Representative in Kenya outlined Japanese government’s commitment to help Kenya realize Vision 2030 and the Millennium Development Goals despite financial constraints as was witnessed during last year’s earthquake.
The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Mabel Imbuga challenged the women to take control of their future by executing profitable ventures to cushion their families from poverty and hunger. “Humble yourselves and spread the seeds of the training all over country”, exhorted Prof. Imbuga.
In her address, the Deputy Vice Chancellor- Research, Production and Extension, Prof. Esther Kahangi, urged the freshly minted trainees to, “embrace attitudinal change, learn from your role models and engage in peer support for continued progress”.