The Military Wives Association of Kenya (MWAK), wrapped up the first week of a ‘Women Empowerment Program’ which was held at both 9 and 3 Kenya Rifles in Eldoret and Nakuru respectively.
The MWAK delegation was received at Nakuru by the Commandant Kenya Military Academy (KMA), Major General John Nkoimo and, at Eldoret, by the Commandant Recruits Training School (RTS), Brigadier Joel Arimi.
The program, themed ‘Pamoja 2-Jiwezeshe’, is a follow up to a previous empowerment drive and has been structured to evaluate gains achieved and further engage and educate military wives on group formation and financial literacy training for economic empowerment.
In her address, MWAK Chairlady Mrs. Aileen Ogolla, urged participants to broaden their minds and take advantage of the available economic opportunities within their respective regions and to use the digital platform for trade and wider reach in marketing their products and services. She noted that this will help them supplement their spouse’s income and consequently accelerate their families towards financial independence. She also took the opportunity to thank the KDF Compensation and Welfare office for facilitating MWAK engagement drives.
“Our goal with this empowerment program is to provide the much needed platform for our military wives to express and discuss challenges faced regarding self development, taking into consideration the unique military environment” she said.
She further emphasized on the importance of functional families noting it is the bedrock to a strong economic base in a family in achieving early financial freedom that will support a smooth transition into retirement.
In both their address, Maj Gen Nkoimo and Brig Arimi appreciated the effort by MWAK in highlighting the needs of military families, those serving, retired, widows and orphans; citing the endeavour as selfless and important. They further encouraged families to take advantage of the programs implemented by MWAK to support in building cohesive empowered families.
Maj Gen Nkoimo especially lauded MWAK for championing programs for wives of KDF veterans.
MWAK also took time from the program to have a word with the Recruits Training School (RTS) instructors undergoing final preparations ahead of receiving this year’s recruits. Mrs Ogolla and team expressed their confidence in their capability to transform the incoming recruits into accomplished soldiers, imbued with the requisite values and character to not only fulfil the KDF mandate, but also to cultivate and support functional families in the long run.
The Chief of DHQ Compensation and Welfare (C&W) Brigadier John Khaoya reiterated the MWAK Chairlady’s sentiments, putting emphasis on the important role MWAK programs play in highlighting key issues and challenges military families undergo. He further reiterated that data collected during the ongoing empowerment program will continue to help identify gaps and contribute in drawing up long-term solutions.
“This empowerment program seeks to bring all of us from the Compensation and Welfare office together with you so that we can discuss key issues, learn and empower each other towards enabling self-sufficiency. So let us take advantage of this engagement. It is my hope that from it, we will grow together as a family,” he said.
The MWAK officials included Mrs Dr Mary Odhiambo who took the women through identification of gaps in the business markets and proposed interventions. Ms. Irene Muriithi, a KDF orphan addressed how to tap into the digital platform. Mrs Grace Amogola taught on how to start and successfully run a business and bookkeeping and Mrs Regina Mulwa talked about matters related to widows and orphans.
In attendance were Commandant Lanet Regional Hospital (LRH) Colonel David Cheruiyot and his counterpart Commandant Eldoret Regional Hospital (ERH) Colonel Stephen Kiago together with Senior Officers, Officers, and Service Members.