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Special groups in Kirinyaga to receive NGAAF support

Kirinyaga Woman Representative Jane Njeri Maina, has launched the “Tupange Kesho Programme,” which aims to support the less fortunate while also empowering women, youth, and people with disabilities in the county.

The programme will be funded by the National Government Affirmative Action Fund (NGAAF).

To date, the Tupange Kesho programme has distributed Sh3.6 million to different women, youth, and people with disabilities with the goal of empowering small-scale businesses.

“We call on women, youth, and people with disabilities to unite and register in groups for them to benefit from the fund. We are going to distribute over $15 million this financial year to different groups. As we support women, men are also part of the programme since we encourage 70 per cent to be women and 30 per cent be men,” she said.

Education bursaries amounting to Sh2.7 million were awarded to five hundred needy students in the county, each receiving five thousand Kenya shillings. She also disbursed a cheque of Sh832,000 to cover the full scholarship for 104 to complete the four-year secondary school course.

Njeri said the bursary has been given only to needy students from deserving backgrounds.

She called on other elected leaders to be fully accountable for the funds they get from the national government, saying that if the funds are used for the intended purpose, they can benefit the community at large.

“It’s my call to the national government to increase the NGAAF amount since there is a lot that needs to be addressed. We serve the whole county, thus making it challenging to touch all corners, but if the fund can be increased, there will be much impact to be seen,” Njeri said.

Njeri, also through NGAAF, gave 100 tents to 100 groups from all over the county. Saying the tents will come in handy to groups when they have functions in their villages and will help members save what they have been incurring to rent tents. She promised more social economic programmes through the “Tupange Kesho Programme,” saying that before the end of the financial year, Sh15 million will be given as grants to different groups to start income-generating activities.

She further donated 100 water tanks, which will be distributed to schools, to help them have adequate and clean water to be used in their day-to-day activities.

“Water is a basic need, said Tupange Kesho. We have given 100 water tanks to our schools as a way to help them store clean water and have water when there is a water shortage,” she said.

Benson Kaloki, head teacher of Kiangoma Primary School, a school set to benefit from modern ablution facilities, said the school has been in bad condition since they have been using very old toilets, which has always been a challenge to learners.

“NGAAF is a game changer in our communities, and as the headteacher of a public school that is set to benefit from the fund, I can attest to that. Once we are done with the project, we expect there will be improvement from the learners,” Kaloki said.

Pauline Njoki, chairperson of a group of people living with disabilities from Mwea Constituency, said they were among the groups that benefited last financial year from the NGAAF, and from what they received, their lives have changed as members since they have a source of income.

“We got a hundred thousand from NGAAF through the office of the woman representative, and we were able to start layer farming, where she gave more than 200 active laying chickens. In the near future, everyone will be owning their own chicken. Personally, I can testify that I am not a beggar anymore; I pay for my own bills,” she said.

She called on other elected and non-elected leaders to help people living with disabilities and give them something to do since they can change their own lives if supported.

“We are not as disabled as you see, but we are differently talented; if given the chance, we can do just as well as others are doing,” she said.

Maxwell Ngungi from Gichugu Constituency, a beneficiary of NGAAF, said they formed a youth group of 12 young men and women and approached the office of the woman representative, and they were among those given funds to start businesses where they started by making detergent and selling it locally.

He added that with time, they were able to change from detergent and graduate to making bar soap.

Ngungi said they have been able to employ themselves permanently in their company and create employment for others who supply their products in the local market.

“Through coming up together as youth, we were able to find something to do, and we have been able to help ourselves solve challenges the majority of youth are experiencing, like drug abuse, joining illegal groups, or even alcohol addiction. I can comfortably add that we have been able to go through different empowerment programmes from when we were making detergent to where we are now, where we have our own products,” Maxwell said.

He also echoed MP Njeri’s call for youth to come up with self-help groups, saying it is hard for an individual to be helped by the government, but once people come together and join the groups, they are easily assisted.

By David Wandeto 

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