By John Majau

160 women living in conservation areas in Isiolo and Meru counties have benefitted from a vocational training initiative courtesy of Northern Rangelands Trust (NRT) Training.

NRT Training initiated the Ujuzi Manyattani programme to engage the youth and women in NRT community conservatives to gain vocational skills.

Ture Boru, the Chief Economic Programmes officer of NRT trading said that Ujuzi Manyattani was started when the youth and women in NRT Community conservancies proposed to have vocational skills for those who have never been to school before.

“By offering an alternative source of livelihood, the programme helps in addressing the insecurity challenges that have adversely affected development,” he said.

He added that Ujuzi Manyattani provides access to learning for people from disadvantaged socio economic backgrounds and those unable to access formal education.

“The programme majorly aims developing learners’ basic literacy and arithmetic skills,” he said.

Boru revealed that the programme is implemented in partnership with Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) in the Ministry of Education, the National Industrial Training Authority (NITA), Kiirua Technical Institute and Laikipia North Technical and Vocational College.

Danish Ambassador to Kenya Ole Thonke said technical skills development is the engine of a growing economy.

Jane Asimit from Nakuprat Gotu conservancy in Isiolo is among the beneficiaries of the programme.

Born in a family of six, Asimit revealed that she didn’t go to school as she was tasked with the responsibility of grazing her family’s livestock. She later got married at an early age.

“Being a stay at home mother taking care of six children with no income, I had to solely depend on my husband for everything,” she says.

She adds that she enrolled at Ujuzi Manyattani programme for a dressmaking course and that after only three months, she had gained entrepreneurial skills on how to measure and write and how to draw various clothes.

She adds that she is now good at making clothes and that locals who used to go to Isiolo town to get expensive clothes can now  get quality and affordable clothes from her.

“I have managed to support my kids in tuition fees unlike before when they were always chased out of school,” said Asimit.

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