The Military Wives Association of Kenya (MWAK) on Tuesday, 8 March 2022 extended its women mentorship and empowerment program to 9 Kenya Rifles (KR) at Moi Barracks in Eldoret.
At 9KR, MWAK held a forum with female soldiers, spouses to Service Members and widows of bereaved soldiers to enhance their welfare by empowering them with a view of making them financially stable and independent. This was in partnership with the Compensation and Welfare Department from Defence Headquarters, the Ministry of Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs (State Department of Gender Affairs), the National Government Affirmative Action Fund (NGAAF), Women Enterprise Fund (WEF) and UWEZO Fund
Speaking during the forum, MWAK Chairperson Mrs. Tabitha Kibochi said MWAK was formed to improve the welfare of Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) soldiers together with their families to enable them to discharge their duties effectively and efficiently.
“I am so much concerned about women because I know the sacrifices they make daily. We have a strong belief that if we empower women, we have empowered the entire society. Women are the basic pillar of our families and they need to be empowered,” said Mrs. Kibochi.
The MWAK Chairperson implored the ladies to enroll their children in KDF sponsored schools and also seek medical attention from the various Medical Reception Stations (MRS) across military units. She urged them to give their opinions on key areas that require improvement.
The women were also taken through steps of making small-scale yogurt and detergents such as liquid soaps as a potential area that requires economic exploitation.
RTS Commandant Brigadier Paul Njema applauded the association for championing the welfare of KDF soldiers and their families saying his unit was a recipient of a new maternity wing and a kitchen block.
Colonel Compensation Colonel Gilliard Kimonge, said that MWAK’s approach has opened up the Compensation and Welfare horizons enabling the office to interact with Service Personnel and their families on a personal level and positively impacting their lives.
Representatives from NGAAF, WEF and UWEZO Fund encouraged the women to form groups and apply for loans at no interest to start and develop businesses towards working with the government through tenders.
During the forum, MWAK, in collaboration with Bethany Kids and Mombasa Cement Company issued a new wheelchair to a seven-year-old girl suffering from Cerebral Palsy. Her mother, Felister Kipkemoi received the device with joy saying it shall go a long way in helping the mobility of her firstborn child.
“It has been quite difficult to do other jobs since the child needs my attention 24 hours a day because you don’t know the next time she will have convulsions. Given that I have this device now, she can comfortably and steadily sit thereby giving me a chance to do other things, I am really grateful,” said Felister, a spouse to a KDF soldier.
The empowerment program is in line with the mentorship pillar of MWAK and is set to be extended across all regions with military barracks.