Young girls who dropped out of school due to teenage pregnancies in Baringo have a second chance to resume their studies.
The programme for the girl child is being sponsored by the area Women Representative Gladwell Cheruiyot.
The programme dubbed “KutelezaSioKuanguka” seeks to empower girls to get back to school despite getting children at a very tender age.
Cheruiyot stated that the programme has already attracted 372 girls who have already been enrolled to the various day schools in the county and currently undertaking their education like the rest of other students.
“We recruited them during the Covid 19 break after we found out that some of them had messed up but we decided to give them another chance by taking them back to school in February,” she said.
Cheruiyot was speaking during the launching of National Government Affirmative Action Fund (NGAAF) projects for Baringo at National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB), Kabarnet depot recently.
She pointed out that the learners affected were secondary school students as well as upper primary pupils who have missed the better part of their studies due to pregnancy.
The women rep mentioned that the selection exercise was successful since all the affected learners who registered have voluntarily accepted to go back to school except two who are being sought after with the help of area chiefs in collaboration with their parents to make sure that they have reported to their respective schools.
She added that the County NGAAF office shall also announce the next lot of girls who will be enrolled in the programme.
“After this we shall announce the next lot of girls who were not captured in the first enrolment and were expectant mothers during the pandemic but did not manage to join school thereafter,” she said.
Through extensive deliberations she said that her office made a decision to admit the girls into day schools near their localities and not boarding in order to accommodate more beneficiaries since it was economical when they are provided with the required necessities.
She noted that the girls will also have enough time to easily breastfeed their young ones after coming out of their classrooms.
Cheruiyot who was accompanied by Baringo Central deputy county commissioner Ruben Ratemo and Kabarnet MCA Ernest Kibet added that the programme will boost parents unable to pay for their daughters who delivered early in their education careers.
She explained that the girls are not offered psychological and financial support, it can cause them to abandon their studies and wanting to have more children because they will feel they have been rejected, stigmatized by the members of the society.
“Such girls might also become a burden to their parents yet they can be supported early so that they become productive in future,” she said.
However, the County MP warned men against preying on minors saying that it is illegal and immoral thing which is punishable by law.
Meanwhile she also stated that her office was undertaking other projects across the seven sub counties like construction of toilets for Persons Living with Disabilities (PLWD’s) as a way of protecting their rights as well as empowering them.
She stated that the group has equally been discriminated against for long to an extent where they face challenges while navigating through the various offices in urban settlements and business enterprises.
“It is very shocking to learn that many of them are using the same toilets with the normal people yet they can be assisted with their own facility because they did not apply to become the way they are,” she wondered.
She revealed that construction works of two roomed modern toilets has already begun in towns like Kabartonjo, Chemolingot and Kabarnet while in Marigat and Eldama Ravine towns parcel of land has been set aside for the establishment of the amenity.
Cheruiyot said the PLWDs will form groups and thereafter manage the daily operations of the modern toilets where they will be using it for free while charging the normal people in order for them to get incomes to sustain themselves.
The women representative urged the local residents to promote the PLWDs once the project becomes complete, by using their facility for them to get something to feed their families.