In this digital age, access to computers and the internet has become a basic necessity especially in the education sector. Furthermore, it is evident that ICT is an enabler that is central to economic and social development.
It is for this reason that the Rotary Club of Hurlingham in the spirit of One Love sent a convoy consisting of club members, accompanied by yours truly, IPP Ann from the Rotaract Club of Technical University of Kenya (TUK) to make a laptops donation and undertake a Needs Assessment in Garissa County on the 19th of February 2022.
The RC Hurlingham in partnership with General Electric East Africa donated 10 laptops and sanitary towels to GirlKind Vocational Training Centre in Garissa County. The donated laptops are to support, impact and improve the Education and Literacy within the institution through GE East Africa’s IT for Charity Program. This will go a long way in promoting digital literacy among the youth and women in the area.
GirlKind Kenya is an NGO that focuses on promoting human welfare especially for girls through vocational training, sports, advocacy and sensitization of the community on out-dated cultural practices like FGM and early marriages. Some of the initiatives they do include; table banking and economic empowerment of FGM circumcisers; reproductive health programs and advocacy on anti-terrorism and gender based violence.
The trip to Garissa had its share of mishaps and fun moments. It all began with the van delay which had me anticipating a trip postponement or rather a tour cancelation for me. Rotarian Albashir had to look like the person on his driving license as he took the wheel at around 8am. A paved road links Nairobi through Thika Road on to Mwingi, Bangali and finally to Garissa town. About 360 Kilometres later, the sight of the proverbial, humped Dromedary camels was upon us and the amazement on our faces was evident. At exactly 40 minutes past 1pm we’d arrived at our destination. Garissa’s rugged terrain, panoramic landscapes and hospitable people is a great place for chilled expeditions and game drives.
We toured the vocational center which has two sites within the area, with the intent to undertake a community needs assessment with plans of developing projects that will promote economic development of Garissa. Some of the pressing issues and challenges that we identified include; inadequate water supply, poor sanitation, low literacy levels, lack of access to health care facilities, FGM and early marriages due to retrogressive cultural practices among several others.
Immediate needs that can turn around the center include, provision of learning materials stationery, equipment’s like electric sewing machines, beauty training apparatus, welding machines, printer/photocopier/scanner/camera to set up a business center, sanitation and hygiene facilities, additional water tanks as well as the need to grow trees.
It was unanimously agreed that the hot climate notwithstanding, Garissa is a beautiful place and a revisit is eminent and so is a sustainable project. RC Hurlingham is seeking partnerships as well as resource mobilization for long term projects aimed at promoting economic empowerment in Garissa.
Together we can change the world, one area at a time.
Together we can change the world, one area at a time. One Love!
~ By Rotaractor Ann Murigi