The Association of Women in Agriculture Kenya recently embarked on a significant journey with the Women Empowerment and Care (WECARE) Project funded by OXFAM. In a momentous event, AWAK hosted a delegation of esteemed donors from the Women’s Rights Organization (WRO) and took them on a tour of Kitui County, showcasing the remarkable progress achieved through their advocacy efforts.

The WECARE project, which has been underway for two years, has made tremendous strides in advocating for Care Infrastructure within Kitui county. This initiative aims to address the pressing issues faced by caregivers, emphasizing the need for budgetary allocation and effective implementation strategies to alleviate the burden of Unpaid Care and Domestic Work (UCDW).

A highlight of the visit was the esteemed presence of His Excellency Dr. Julius Malombe, the Governor of Kitui County. Dr. Malombe took the time to engage with AWAK representatives and gain firsthand insights into the project’s accomplishments. With great honor, AWAK’s WeCare champion, Madam Eunice King’oo, presented a draft memo to the Governor, highlighting the priority concerns expressed by caregivers and stressing the necessity of government support.

Image 1: AWAK WECARE Champion Mrs Eunice Kingoo handing over draft memo from caregivers to H.E Julius Malombe, Governor Kitui County.

The memos, thoughtfully addressed to the ministries of Agriculture, Water and Irrigation, Health, and Gender, captured the urgent needs of the community. Present at the meeting were the respective County Executive Committee members (CECs) responsible for these ministries. These officials pledged their unwavering support and expressed their commitment to the success of the WECARE project.

Governor Malombe, during his address, assured the attendees of his full backing for the project. Recognizing the significance of Care Infrastructure, he made a resolute promise that no woman in Kitui County would be required to travel more than 2 kilometers to access clean water—an essential first step toward women’s empowerment.

In a groundbreaking move towards women’s economic empowerment, Governor Malombe had already hired Early Childhood Development Education (ECDE) teachers on permanent and pensionable terms. An astounding 95% of the newly employed teachers are women, showcasing the Governor’s commitment to gender parity and women’s advancement. Such progressive actions are truly commendable and serve as a testament to Kitui County’s dedication to women’s empowerment.

The AWAK team expressed their confidence that the Kitui County Government would act as a catalyst for change in matters concerning women’s empowerment. They eagerly anticipate working closely with the government to bring about transformative outcomes for women in Kitui and beyond.

The visit by the WRO donors, in collaboration with AWAK, has not only shed light on the remarkable achievements of the WECARE project but also bolstered the collective resolve to uplift women in Kitui County. As the wheels of progress are set in motion, the stage is now set for a brighter and more equitable future for women, where their voices are heard, their needs are met, and their contributions are valued.

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