By OFFICE OF THE SPOUSE OF THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT(OSDP)
Kenya has more than 2,300 Technical and Vocational Education Training Institutions (TVETs) dotting the country’s landscape, with a majority of the institutions that consumed millions of taxpayers’ money during their development, highly underutilized.
However, the spouse of the Deputy President, Pastor Dorcas Rigathi sees these institutions as the answer to offering an end-to-end solution in the deaddiction process of thousands lost in alcohol, drug and substance addictions in the country through skilling for employment and entrepreneurship.
During the launch of the ‘Boy Child Mashinani Program’ in Lussigetti Stadium, Kikuyu Constituency, under the office of the County Woman Representative Anne Wamuratha, Pastor Dorcas visited the Nachu TVET in the area and also spoke of the dire need of skilling the many young men who were stepping out seeking help through rehabilitation.
On August 8, 2023, Pastor Dorcas also visited the Ngorano TVET in Mathira Constituency, Nyeri County, demonstrating a pattern by her office to use the TVETs to complete her end-to-end vision of the rehabilitation of boys and men under the boy child program.
“We have facilities of the government lying idle and we are looking for institutions where our young men can go and get skilled. This Nachu Reformed Youth Group is evidence of the transformation those addicted can undergo. Look at them now, they have beautiful smiles, and their faces are brighter. Hon. Wamuratha you have done a great job.”
“Running car washes is not enough. Our reformed youth can also do online jobs, and also rise to greater heights in career to make an income from all sectors of the economy. I am working very hard to make sure our men are free of addictions and empowered. I know it is a tough job ahead, but I shall keep pushing,” said Pastor Dorcas in her speech at the Lussigetti Grounds.
She also pointed to agriculture and greening the environment as another opportunity for the reformed. “We have idle land, even if it means we lease the land, then our young men can become the answer to food insecurity in the country,” said Pastor Dorcas.
In local and international forums, she has raised concern of the aging population of farmers in Kenya, estimated at 67 years, and urged the youth to become involved in food production.
Already, under the OSDP boy child program, a tree nursery of 500,000 tree seedlings is being grown in Mathira Constituency, with the target of three million tree seedlings to contribute to the government’s target of growing 15 billion tree seedlings by the year 2032.
County MP Wamuratha in her speech revisited the electoral campaign days, saying that women thought she was fighting the female gender for advocating for the boy child, but ultimately they came to realise the fight for the boy child was the fight for the girl child.
“Kiambu is leading in the statistics of suicide cases because our men have become hopeless. We must give them hope, and one way is something to do so they can become fathers and leaders,” said MP Wamuratha.
Kiambaa MP John KaWanjiku urged the Governor to stop the licensing of bars located next to homes.
“Let all the bars in Kiambu be located in towns where someone will have to pay a bodaboda or bus fare to go drink. We are not fighting the businessmen, but the rise of alcoholism in our county,” said MP KaWanjiku.
Gatundu South MP GG Kagombe attributed the rampant consumption of alcohol in the Mount Kenya region to culture.
“We have cultural practices that encourage the consumption of alcohol. We must end these harmful practices, and save a generation from alcoholism,” said MP Kagombe.
Kikuyu DCC Eric Wamulevu called for more community involvement in the fight against the consumption of illicit brews and other drugs. He said they had attained 70 percent in the fight, but would attain close to 100 percent through the cooperation of the people.
“This war against illicit brews and drugs has not been fully won because of the lack of involvement of the community. A community that does not care about the youth has no future. If as a country and county we do not take care of the youth, we have no future,” said DCC Wamulevu.
The DCC commended the national, county, community and church leaders for coming together to address the issues facing the boy child and men in the society saying ‘they had been forgotten for a long time’.
Also present was NACADA Director, Rev Fredrick Ngugi who urged the youth to refrain from addictive behaviours and instead build their lives, families and communities.