Pupils from five schools in Tharaka Nithi County had a reason to smile after KBC presenters from Mwago FM visited with personal hygiene donations and radio sets for school broadcasts.
Girls from Rwatha, Kamagajiu, Kathangasini, Thuita, and Kibumbu schools were given free sanitary towels and underpants to keep them in class during menstruation. Other donations include soaps, books and radio sets.
The national broadcaster has partnered with the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) to promote digital broadcast lessons through different platforms one of them being radio.
The campaign has given KBC radio fans an opportunity to identify outstanding needy primary schools that will benefit from the sets to ensure they keep up with their studies.
This time around, the radio presenters in partnership with Bethel Network, Pillars for Resilience and Lifeline Energy paid the pupils a surprise visit on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Besides being treated to fanfare, the pupils were taught life skills education by facilitators from the two NGOs.
The practical lessons are founded on six character pillars to instil self-esteem, confidence, and assertiveness. They were also taught interpersonal skills, the importance of setting goals and appreciating others.
The facilitators rooted for early empowerment of boys and girls to prepare and equip them to handle challenges associated with adolescence with many at risk of early marriages, pregnancies and drug abuse.
“Assertiveness is knowing oneself, and girls must know that it is good to accept themselves the way they are even when the body changes start to happen. Avoid weakness and build confidence,” Gladys Makena, a Bethel facilitator told the girls.
The radio presenters, Bethel Network facilitators, and CEO of Lifeline Energy Kristine Pearson were treated to a warm reception by Rwatha primary Mr Gitonga Imana.
The pupils were provided with free face masks to assist them in combating the spread of coronavirus while at school.
“ We are privileged to have KBC Mwago FM, Bethel Network, and Lifeline Energy organizations. They have educated us mostly on the girl child. The radio sets will help the pupils in catching up with lessons. Boys have been given soaps for bathing. It is amazing,” added Gitonga.
It was a moment of fun and entertainment, as KBC presenters Elsie Karwitha, Rashid Mwamkondo, and George Waka engaged the learners in practical games to boost their problem-solving capabilities.
One of the schools, Kibumbu primary has a centre that teaches and cares for physically handicapped pupils.
The pupils were thrilled by radio sets distributed by Lifeline Energy, a non-profit social enterprise, that designs, manufactures and distributes solar-powered and wind-up MP3 players and radios for classroom and community listening.
“In Kenya, we have an initiative called Eslia; meaning, for girls only. The objective is to supply radio sets to girls coming from marginalized areas. These girls have the least access to radio information/lessons. When they do not go to school because of their periods, family responsibilities, or don’t feel well, they won’t fall behind. They can tune in to KBC radio lessons every day.” Kristine Pearson the CEO of Lifeline Energy said.
The name ‘Eslia’ is derived from the Maasai language. The radio sets are mainly given to the girls for access to information, news, radio lessons in the classroom, and entertainment.
The radio sets which are in green colour, as a reminder to preserve the environment can be charged with solar energy, human energy, and electricity. They have alarms, torch, AM, and FM radio frequencies, and a strong aerial.
KBC brand manager Alex Karega said the partnership would go a long way in ensuring sustainable education and information access to the most vulnerable.
“KBC has rebranded with fresh content, new TV, News and Radio programmes, new anchors. We encourage everyone to continue watching the station to be informed, educated and entertained ” Karega said.
Mwago FM 97.5 is a Kimeru vernacular station owned by KBC
Reporting and photos by Jackson Mnyamwezi