State Department for Gender Affairs Principal Secretary Prof. Collette Suda today officiated the opening of the Uwezo Fund Training Program, where the Public Service Internship program (PSIP) interns deployed to Uwezo Fund, were inducted.
The Fund in partnership with the UN Women will coordinate an empowerment program across the 47 counties field stations to create awareness and sensitize the Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities to increase uptake of Government Affirmative Funds.Over 120 interns who were deployed to the Fund through the PSIP are undergoing a two-day induction training before they are redeployed in the field stations.
In her remarks, Prof. Suda welcomed the interns and urged them to take the opportunity with a lot of keenness in order to acquire work experience in their respective field of study. She pointed that PSIP is a key pillar in the government’s wider strategy to mitigate youth unemployment by addressing the work experience demanded by prospective employers.
“This programme is designed to offer you industrial skills and learning opportunities to acquire and develop valuable technical and professional skills while gaining work experience and to certify the requirements for registration to various professional bodies,” she told the interns.
The Principal Secretary told them to make a difference in the lives of the vulnerable groups by giving them the necessary support as they apply for the funds.
UN Women Country Director, Ms. Anna Mutavati lauded the partnership between UN Women and Uwezo Fund noting that the Government’s agenda of Ending Gender Based Violence, Women’s Economic Empowerment and expanding women’s voices, leadership and participation shall be realized.
“We commit to offer financial and technical support for the betterment of the Fund and overall Women Economic Empowerment in Kenya.” She said in her address.
Uwezo Fund CEO, Mr. Peter Lengapiani pointed out that the interns will reduce employee work load as they will support the field stations in mobilizing and monitoring uptake of the Fund loans.
He expressed optimism on the conduct of the interns noting that the first and second cohorts finished their internship without any disciplinary cases. “We shall closely work with the 129 interns to ensure they get the necessary support in the work place and gain experience within the one year period,” Mr. Lengapiani said.
He added that much of the work for the interns is to create awareness and sensitize women, youth and Persons with Disabilities on economic empowerment programmes so that they can form and register their groups in order to access the Government interest-free loans.
Since its inception the Fund has cumulatively disbursed Kshs. 6.5 Billion to the 290 constituencies which have benefited 70,102 groups comprising of; 23,697 Youth, 44,599 Women and 1,806 Persons with Disabilities groups. This has directly benefited 1,034,743 individuals comprising of 712,960 Female and 321,783 Male.
Among those present at the event were Uwezo Fund Board Chairperson, Prof. Losenge Turoop, Board members, and the management team.
By Jacqueline Kirimi