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MMUST in Collaboration With UNFPA and County Government of Kakamega Educates Students on Gender-Based Violence and Selfcare During Menstruation

MMUSTUNFPA and the County Government of Kakamega teams during the visit.

MMUST’s School of Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance (SDMHA) in collaboration with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the County Government of Kakamega on 19th October 2022, educated young students on Gender-Based Violence (GBV) and self-care during menstruation. This was evident during their visit to Nyayo Tea Zone Primary and Shieywe Secondary Schools to campaign against GBV and donate sanitary towels.

The event spearheaded by the Lecturer, Department of Emergence and Management Studies, Dr. Margaret Iyaya who was representing the Dean, SDMHA, Dr. Ferdinand Nabiswa saw disaster risk reduction among the primary and secondary school students. Along with the teams were MMUST Scouts, Red Cross Society, the Disaster and Environment Management Association (DEMA) as well as Achievers Movement.

Dr. Iyaya noted that increased cases of GBV and lack of support for teenage students have resulted in an increased number of teenage pregnancy cases in recent years. She emphasized abstinence from teenage sexual relationships for the students to focus on their studies. She encouraged them to maintain self-discipline to overcome temptations that may come their way.

“Work hard and join MMUST to pursue a Disaster management program which is the solution to every day’s problems," she stated.

image 61The Principal Shieywe Secondary School, Mr. Kefa Atsobwa (left) together with the students.

Expressing his delight, the Principal of Shieywe Secondary School, Mr. Kefa Atsobwa appreciated the teams for choosing the school among others in the county. The Principal acknowledged that some students come from families which are affected by GBV leading to poor performance. Similarly, the Deputy Headteacher, of Nyayo Tea Zone Primary School, Mrs. Gentrix Okwako revealed that most of their female students had difficulties getting sanitary pads. For this reason, there is a high rate of absenteeism and poor performance among the students.

image 62

Director, Disaster Management, Kakamega County, Ms. Abigael Chepkorir addressing the students of Nyayo Tea Zone Primary School.

Speaking during the visit, the Director of Disaster Management, Kakamega County, Ms. Abigael Chepkorir, encouraged the students to take their education seriously and make it a priority. She urged female students to respect their bodies and avoid sex at an early age. She added that the students are vulnerable to defilement and should report such cases to them through their teachers or call the County toll-free number.

“You are our future generation; focus on your education for a brighter future. Avoid alcohol and drug abuse which is the major cause of disasters among the youth,” she said.

image 63

Deputy Headteacher, Nyayo Tea Zone Primary School, Mrs. Gentrix Okwako receiving sanitary towels from the Coordinator, UNEFPA, Mr. Eliud Okumu.

According to the Coordinator, UNEFPA, and lecturer, Egerton University, Mr. Eliud Okumu, discipline, and high self-esteem is the key to disaster risk reduction. He reiterated Ms. Chepkorir’s sentiment stating that the students should focus on their studies for a better future. Further, he highlighted that GBV is accelerated by poverty.

 “Work smart and don’t doubt your capabilities. Do not let anything deter you from achieving your dreams. You can reach any height with strong self-esteem and discipline,” he said.

Also present during the visit included; Mr. Leonard Nyongesa, Mr. Nimrod Lanogwa, Ms. Jane Kimuma, Mr. Dennis Otwori, and students from SDMHA.

Indeed, such activities encourage young students to continue with their studies and cope with everyday challenges. The University also market its programs to the young generation so that they can choose courses wisely when joining the University.  

By Brenda Lusaa
Photos by Verna Awuor

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