The County Director for Vocational Training Stephen Eregae led a team from the Department of Education in monitoring Girls Improving Resilience through Livelihood (GIRL-H) implemented by Mercy Corps in Turkana West.
The monitoring visit was conducted in Lopur, one of the Wards benefitting from the project alongside Songot in Turkana West, Katilu in Turkana South, Kaaleng/Kaikor, and Lapur in Turkana North.
Director Eregae stated that the monitoring visit was meant to collect data for addressing potential challenges likely to threaten the realization of the program’s ultimate goal of empowering beneficiaries economically.
He recognized the visit had revealed the transformative power of equipping beneficiaries with skill-based and business training as tools for self-employment and income generation.
Eregae called on the project implementation team to take into consideration the inclusion of the boy-child in the program for an inclusive boost of the targeted groups.
According to Mercy Corps GIRL-H Officer, Prisca Ekaale, she said, the program aims at increasing access to vital skills and knowledge required by vulnerable adolescent girls to overcome life challenges and venture into economic activities for self-reliance.
Ekaale added that the project model also focussed on social and behavior change approaches to promote healthy options for girls between 10 to 24 years of age.
So far, she said, the project has formed a total of 308 groups each of 25 members. All of them, Ekaale informed, have been exposed to life skills, financial literacy, reproductive health, and gender-based protection before transiting to either business or education.
Since the inception of the program in Turkana, the officer said, more than 248 groups have successfully been transitioned and supported with up to Ksh 25M as grants and sponsorship for business start-ups and education.
In addition, the Mercy Corps program extended support to 89 trainees for Vocational Training enrolment in Lokichoggio, Lodwar, and Lokichar with a scholarship grant of Ksh 2.2M. Other beneficiaries included 81 trainees for driving courses at Ksh 1.6M.
John Karanja (Ag. Deputy Director, Vocational Training), Emeto Abdul Rahman (Adult Education), and Vincent Korir (Turkana West Sub-county Education Officer) were present during the monitoring visit of the project.