First Lady Margaret Kenyatta today took President Uhuru Kenyatta’s re-election campaign to Western Kenya where she also joined school girls to celebrate the International Day of the Girl Child.
The girls from St Lukes Kabubero Secondary and their colleagues from Sio Primary Schools welcomed the First Lady at SKIP a Lunch Initiative offices in Marel Centre, outside Bungoma town, where she distributed locally made sanitary towels to the jubilant learners who promised to remain in school and complete their education.
SKIP a lunch Initiative is a foundation that partners with the First Lady’s Beyond Zero Initiative. It is a registered charity that seeks to empower the people of Bungoma County through social economic activities including restoring the dignity of the girl child.
The Foundation pools financial resources by encouraging members of the public and corporate leaders to skip lunch once in a month to support its charitable projects.
Among the Foundation’s projects is the production of sanitary pads that are distributed free , mostly to Day Secondary Schools students and Upper Primary learners in the County. It’s an initiative of former County First Lady, Dr Margaret Makelo Lusaka.
The First Lady surprised her hosts and the girls when she unassumingly sat behind a sewing machine to produce one of the sanitary pads which she went ahead to gift one of the girls.
“We need girl empowerment. I need you to remain in school”, the First Lady told the girls after personally handing them with the sanitary towels.
She was received at the SKIP foundation centre by Environment Cabinet Secretary Prof. Judy Wakhungu, Bungoma County Commissioner J.K. Chepchieng and the directors of the foundation.
The Foundation also gifted the First Lady with mother-packs that she will distribute to a hospital of her choice. Each Mother-Pack contains a baby-shawl, baby clothes, socks and a lesso. The packs act as an incentive for mothers to give birth in health facilities.
Addressing about 2000 women and their leaders from Bungoma, Busia, Vihiga and Kakamega at the Nzoia Sugar Complex grounds, the First Lady said President Kenyatta wants more women empowered to access more leadership opportunities and resources.
“He (President Kenyatta) wants more women to be financially independent so that you can have better control of life, of your children’s future, of your family’s future”, she said.
She said empowered women are the solution towards ending poverty in Kenya.
The First Lady asked the women from Western Kenya to remain stronger in their resolve and committed to the choice they made on August 8 when they voted for President Kenyatta.
“Your vote is important. Your vote counts and Uhuru and I will continue to express our deepest gratitude for your support”, she said
The meeting which was organized by the Maendeleo Ya Wanawake Organization (MYWO) was on a return visit to Western Kenya. The First Lady addressed a similar meeting in Kakamega on July 29, ahead of the August polls.
In all her tours of duty across the country, said the First Lady, she had heard encouraging stories and testimonies about how more women have access to better health care services, better opportunities to economic participation and access to finances through loans and saccos which have greatly uplifted the livelihoods of many women.
“It has been encouraging because those are stories that give me energy to continue my work - because women give so much of themselves to fend for their children - they sacrifice so much for the sake of their families ”, she said during the 18th MYWO meeting that she has addressed since June.
Through their leaders, the women said they will support President Kenyatta during the October 26 presidential elections.
They also praised the First Lady for uplifting the dignity of Kenyan women through her humble demeanour and focused leadership to the women.
Other speakers included MYWO national chairperson Rahab Mwikali Muiu, National Secretary Elizabeth Maiyeka, former Senator Zipporah Kittony, Prof. Wakhungu , Ahadi Kenya Chief Executive Officer Dr. Stanley Kamau and MYWO County representatives.