The Military Wives Association of Kenya (MWAK) on Thursday, 23rd June 2022 marked the International Widows Day with a nationwide Widows Connect Summit campaign geared toward bringing together widows of fallen KDF soldiers from across the country.
Themed, “It’s a time to bloom,” the summit campaign was held concurrently in Nairobi, Mombasa, Nakuru, Eldoret, Nanyuki and Gilgil regions, spearheaded by MWAK regional officials.
In his speech, delivered across the regions, Chief of the Defence Forces General Robert Kibochi noted that the loss of a spouse for many women around the world is usually magnified by a long-term contest for their basic rights and dignity adding that KDF is committed to improving the lives of all widows of its personnel.
“I must note that the volatile operational environment, both within and beyond our borders in the fight against terrorism besides other natural causes, has resulted in the loss of lives of our personnel and subsequently increasing the number of widows and orphans who require a support framework. Therefore, during this unique ‘Widows Connect International Summit’ I urge all of us to take a look at some of the issues affecting KDF widows and what must be done to safeguard and advance their constitutional human rights,” read the speech.
Addressing widows in Nanyuki region, the MWAK chairperson Mrs. Tabitha Kibochi said it is the objective of MWAK to ‘Walk Far Together’ as per the motto and the association seeks to promote the holistic well-being of KDF families. She added that the day shall be marked annually.
“We know that it is a really traumatizing and life-changing experience to lose a husband who is mostly the breadwinner. That’s why we decided to meet you today, to hear and connect with you, to listen to your challenges and see how we can help. No one chooses to be a widow and no one prepares for it,” said Mrs. Kibochi adding that MWAK is exploring programs to empower KDF widows.
Her sentiments were echoed by MWAK leaders and invited guests who spoke to the widows across the regions where the campaign was held.