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30 students graduate under the “Ujuzi manyattani” initiative in Garissa

Some 30 students from Ijara constituency, Garissa County have benefited from scholarships to study technical and life skill courses under the Ujuzi Manyattani initiative aimed at providing opportunities to pastoralists’ youth who have not had a chance to go to school.

The programme which is sponsored by the Northern Rangers Trust (NRT), Ishaqbini conservancy and the Laikipia North Technical College was launched in 2019 and has so far benefited 782 students countrywide.

Speaking during the graduation ceremony held at the Ishaqbini conservancy in Masalani, NRT’s coordinator for the initiative Peter Nguno said that due to climate change, conflicts and banditry, and prolonged drought, some of the young people in the pastoral communities have not had a chance to go to school and that was why the program was launched to reach out to them.

Nguno further said that people with disabilities, and those who never attended any school in their life were given the first priorities for the program which offers three month courses.

The first cohort which just graduated were taught tailoring and mobile phone repair courses, with masonry and plumbing earmarked to be courses for the next cohort.

“We want to give opportunities to those who have not been in school to get these life skills so that they can start their own businesses and sustain their lives,” Nguno said.

“We are not only training them, we are also giving them the necessary tools for mobile phone repairs and tailoring machines so that as they go out, they are fully equipped,” he added.

Abdirizak Omar, a Business Officer at the NRT said that the courses taught are expected to also help communities by bringing services closer, and helping the youth to stay out of crime, and drug abuse.

“This initiative does not only benefit the students but also the communities. The skills that these students get here are not locally available. For example, the residents had to travel all the way to Garissa town for mobile phone repairs but now they can save on fare and time and get those services here,” Omar said.

A section of the graduands KNA spoke to said they were happy that the courses had opened new opportunities for them.

By Erick Kyalo



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