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MMUST in Collaboration With Light for the World and Standard Chartered Bank Champion Future Makers Inclusive Employability

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The Vice-Chancellor addressing participants during the mentorship programme.

Expressing his gratitude towards the event sponsors and coordinators, the Vice Chancellor noted that the youth are the future makers of the nation encouraging them to not only look for job opportunities but also to work on creating self-employment. The VC encouraged the People living with Disabilities (PWDs) to love and not discriminate against themselves. He emphasized the inclusion of PWDs regardless of ethnicity, race, and gender challenging them not to sympathize with themselves.

“I urge you to wake up, look for opportunities and serve the world. Don’t fear because you’re a youth, go out and thrive to excel. Good grooming and interpersonal relations at the workplace are key. Above all, love each other and give equal opportunities to all,” urged Prof. Shibairo.

Further, he pointed out that cutting down trees has resulted in climate change revealing that the University management looks forward to planting more trees as a solution to food and water shortages. “We have destroyed the environment causing climate change. We should have water running to feed the livestock. We are planting trees believing we shall have a lot of rain next year,” he added.

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Prof. Shibairo planting a tree to promote the Greening Initiative.

Speaking during the event, the Dean of Students, Dr. Bernadette Abwao who was representing the DVC, Academic and Student Affairs, Prof. Hussein Golicha, stated that such events give students additional skills required in the job market apart from academic work. “Our students have challenges in packaging themselves for various job opportunities. Let us empower our youths so that they are far distinct from others by equipping them with relevant skills in the ever-changing job market,” she stated.

The team from Light for the world included; the Advisor- Ms. Jane Waithera, Head of Programs- Ms. Lucy Murage, the training facilitators, Mr. Jack Ogejo- Homabay County, Mr. Macnam Vita- Kakamega County, Celine Okinyo- Migori County, and Mr. Collins Ombajo- Busia County. Ms. Waithera made her presentation on the following topics; Disability Inclusion Journey, Disability Awareness Training, Disability Inclusion Scorecard, Running Inclusion Plan, Action Plan as well as Mentoring and Planning.

 “Involving the PWD without recognizing and accommodating them has become rampant. We should change the narratives about people with disabilities. Let us create awareness and help people change their perception about the PWDs,” urged Ms. Waithera, pointing out that the special group faces a wide array of challenges ranging from rejection and discrimination to negligence.

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Prof. Shibairo (center) together with Light for the world team and the Director of Career Services, Dr. Teresa Okoth (in blue dress) at the Vice Chancellor’s Office.

Ms. Waithera revealed that there is a gap between the PWDs and those without disabilities. She urged the participants to narrow the gap by creating equity in resource allocation and equality in access to various services. She emphasized the need to stop labeling and discriminating against this special group.

According to the Head of Branches, Standard Chartered Bank Kenya, Ms. Joan Okello, the bank is committed to creating employability for the youth by not only matching skills to absorb them in the job market but also creating their own employment. She encouraged the youth to create a sustainable future. “Utilize your time wisely and be ready to learn. The flow of work has shifted to digital, be empowered and expose yourselves to grab the available opportunities,” she said. Equally, her counterpart, Mr. Gabriel Ochieng urged the youth to identify what separates them from the crowd to gain an upper hand in the competitive job market.

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The Head of Branches, Standard Chartered Bank Kenya, Ms. Joan Okello (center) addressing the media after the event.

Addressing being relevant in the job market, the Co-Chief Executive and Transformation Officer; of ADD International and Founder Riziki Source, Mr. Fredrick Ouko hinted that fresh graduates have difficulties getting entry jobs due to poor presentation during interviews. He encouraged students to enroll in short-term courses to gain more knowledge and skills. “Demonstrate your skills properly and mind your dress code, social media posts, and communication skills as well as your creativity,” he said.

The Director of Career Services, Dr. Teresa Okoth stated that the workshop helped the staff and students to understand the categories of PWDs as well as how they can support them undertake various tasks. This will ensure that the PWDs’ work is not hampered by their attitude and workplace biases.

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Dr. Okoth making a remark during the mentorship programme.

Coordinating the Standard Chartered Bank Marathon, the Director, of Research and Postgraduate Support, Prof. Peter Bukhala, applauded the participants saying that such an event is crucial to the University for supporting Greening Initiative and the marathon exercise is important in improving people’s health. He promised to make it better next year. He added that PWDs should be highly considered and not left behind.

Other notable staff from MMUST who participated in the event include; Prof. Stephen Odebero, Prof Maurice Omolo, Prof. Kennedy Bota, Dr. Joseph Owino, Dr. James Owuor, Dr. Rose Odiango, and Dr. Manson Sichari.

Certainly, such intensive training exercise is a major boost to MMUST’s effort for ensuring that measures and programs are put in place to safeguard the needs, interests, and aspirations of PWDs. The Greening Initiative will contribute significantly to providing food security and combating climate change in the country.


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