An initiative to offer entrepreneurship skills to illiterate and poor women and youths in Turkana County has turned out to be a game changer in a region where poverty and illiteracy levels are high.
The programme has enabled 200 beneficiaries become agents of Hunger and Safety Network programme dispensing thousands of shillings to the elderly in the semi-arid county.
The initiative that has been implemented by Lotus Kenya Action for Development Organization (LOKADO) has a success rate of 80%.
The resilience and development programme manager in (LOKADO), Dennis Esekon Lokitare said the initiative was meant to empower the pastoralists in the county that has high potential in livestock rearing.
The process begun by identifying 200 participants in Turkana after which the organization trained them for a period of four months before issuing them with various forms of starter-kits.
“Of the number identified 65% were women and youths and our main objective was to train them in entrepreneurship skills and this has worked wonders,” Lokitare said.
Lokitare identified one of the beneficiaries as an illiterate woman who was now an Equity Bank Agent in Orum village dispensing thousands of shillings to the elderly every week.
After training her, she diversified her business before applying to the bank to be the agent in the village located over 100kms from Lodwar Town in Turkana County.
“We celebrate this woman has been identified by Equity Bank as an agent of hunger and safety network and is currently serving tens of the elderly after this training,” he said.
On his part, Dr Antony Kibata the project coordinator Welthungerhilfe (WHH) which has funded the programme said that for years, members of the pastoralists have been neglected and project had targeted cross-border-communities living in Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia terming the current entrepreneurship skills as a major win for the community.
“We have some major achievements as the beneficiaries did not have any basic education but have gone an extra mile and some are even Equity Bank agents,” he said.
Elizabeth Apumuya said that her appointment as the Equity agent had positively changed her life and she could be able to educate and feed her family.
“After the training I have been able to serve the elderly and women in his village and I attribute my success to the business training I received,” she said.
Her clerk Elias Nang’ore said that they were serving over 200 residents who could not make it to Lodwar town that was hundreds of kilometers away.
He attributed the gains to the training that was conducted by LOKADO on the women and youths in terms of business opportunity.