Skills improvement programme under the office of the West Pokot governor’s wife Dr. Mary Lonyangapuo has seen 151 vulnerable women and a man graduate with tailoring and dressmaking skills, after undergoing a one and a half years hands-on training at Vocational Training Centres (VTCs) in the county.
This comes after the office in partnership with the County government purchased 140 sewing machines that were used during the training in 23 VTCs, with 21 tutors being engaged.
Speaking during the graduation ceremony at Makutano Stadium, Mrs. Lonyangapuo lauded the county administration and the county assembly for passing the bill that enabled the rollout of the programme that has yielded commendable results.
The governor’s spouse reiterated that empowering women with life skills was the right way to go, since women play critical roles in identifying family needs.
She urged the graduands to use the skills learnt to empower themselves and others for sustainability, saying the programme’s ultimate goal was to lead into formation of a small dressmaking company.
“This first cohort has been a success since only 2 out of the 152 trainees failed the tests. You can form groups so that you start a small clothes making enterprise that will see you have access to wider markets. Use your creativity like you did during your training for success,” she advised.
Dr. Lonyangapuo rallied other women to enroll into the ongoing programme saying it will with time diversify with time to include catering among other skills, while appealing to the county government to increase budgetary allocation towards the same.
On his part, the county governor Prof. John Lonyangapuo said his administration was committed towards empowering residents with necessary skills.
The governor noted that women were significant players towards improving the economic standards of their families, through engaging in income generating programmes at the household levels.
“There are so many people without formal education in our community and majority are women. I am happy that they volunteered from the targeted households to come through the office of the county first lady to acquire tailoring skills that are essential in our economy,” he stated.
Prof. Lonyangapuo said clothing is a human basic need that everyone must embrace, noting that those who go without clothes are an embarrassment to not only their families, but also to entire community.
He appealed to the West Pokot community to embrace innovation using their talents and abilities instead of depending on their children to complete school and get jobs to come back and help them.
“As parents we should move away from the culture of over-dependence on our children after completing education. We should utilise our God given brains to create wealth in different ways so as to lead decent lifestyles,” urged Lonyangapuo.
The governor used the opportunity to highlight his priority agenda saying he focused on improving education for the time he has been in office as the second governor of West Pokot.
“We prioritized education and the results are amazing. This time our unique manifesto has added investment, income generation and infrastructure aspects, which were never heard before in the county,” stated Prof. Lonyangapuo.