Maendeleo ya Wanawake Organisation has launched a male empowerment initiative in five counties of central Kenya to tame run-away alcoholism linked to high levels of gender-based violence against women and deaths of young potential leaders every election cycle.
The programme, Male Champions Initiative aimed at building the boy child in order to restore the man back to the place of leadership at the family level- will be rolled out in Kiambu, Nyeri, Murang’a, Nyandarua and Kirinyaga counties.
Maendeleo ya Wanawake Organisation National Chairperson, Rahab Muiu HSC said alcoholism in Central Region has rendered most young and potential leaders helpless, becoming a burden to aging parents.
“This alcoholism menace has robbed us our sons at a very young age; it has also denied them the chance of enjoying fatherhood and companionship because they cannot sustain marriages,” said Muiu when the organization held its second nationwide 70th anniversary celebrations at Mount Kenya University, Thika.
Mrs Muiu said the organization will no longer continue to watch parents of young men being forced to take care of their old children who should be taking care of them, saying the new initiative will take a different approach in building back men in the region into responsible heads of the family.
“We want to declare and promise here in central Kenya that we as the mothers and the custodians of the family, we will not condemn or abandon our sons, we will walk with them to help them overcome this beast in the name of alcoholism,” said Muiu.
The declaration was made before Kiambu County Governor, James Nyoro who was the Chief Guest, Nyandarua Governor, Francis Kimemia, Nyeri County Deputy Governor, Dr Caroline Karugu, Muranga Women Representative Chege Sabina Wanjiru, and Kirinyaga Women Representative, Purity Ngirici.
The State Department of Interior and Citizen Services, Ministry of Interior and Coordination of the National Government Principal Secretary, Dr (Eng.) Karanja Kibicho, and Dr. Nicholas Muraguri, the Principal Secretary- Ministry of Lands and Physical planning represented the National government.
“We have identified a safe house for victims of gender-based violence and we would like to have more of these houses to handle the rising cases in future. Central region is also known for alcoholism, we will relook into this moving forward,” said Governor Nyoro
While acknowledging the efforts made by the regions leadership especially Kiambu County in fighting alcoholism MYWO said the new initiative will complement their effort and those of other counties in ending GBV.
“This was informed by the experiences of past electioneering periods where more often than not, is characterized by violence mainly meted on women and girls hence eroding the gains made in ending GBV,” said Muiu.
The initiative started in Nairobi last year and identified Bishop David Oginde the face behind the male champion is going to be scaled to other counties and it targets various stakeholders including County Governors, community leaders and households.
MYWO thanked women of central Kenya -both alive and those who have passed on- for being selfless and making a huge contribution towards the journey of women empowerment in the Country and the Maendeleo’s 70-year journey.
Special recognition was given to the first lady H.E Margaret Kenyatta, described as a woman of great humility, integrity, God fearing and a wonderful mother to all Kenyans.
Mrs. Jane Kiano, the 5th MYWO Chairperson and patron for doing a lot during her chairmanship including making sure that Maendeleo house was in place, Muthoni Likimani, Eddah Gachukia who have made contributions towards the education sector in this country.
Mukami Kimathi, allowed her husband to fight for the freedom we enjoy today as a country, Eunice Kamotho, Ann Wambaa, Rachel Kamatu, Wangari Mathai, a woman who had the true interest of our environment at heart.
Women in politics like Hon Beth Mugo, Martha Karua, Hon Alice Wahome, an example of women who carry themselves with a lot of integrity and many more others were also recognised.
“It is by no means possible to exhaust the list of women who have shaped or continue to shape the history of their country. You see them in all walks of life, wrestling for space in a male dominated world” said Muiu.