Tuesday, May 28, 2024

The grand rebirth of YWCA Kisumu

For over five decades, Young Women Christian Association (YCWA) has transformed the lives of women in the area.

The institution has been a training centre for the young women, and offered them a platform to establish linkages, advance and improve their livelihoods.

The YWCA strategic plan of 2019-2023 provides a comprehensive plan that will see the organisation uplift it’s structure and consolidate it’s resource base through development and extraction of it’s existing structures

Debora Olwal

On top of this, the centre has also been offering affordable accommodation and meeting venues for the low income residents.

But in a new strategy, the institution has launched an expansion program that will provide a safe space for vulnerable women and girls.

Groundbreaking

On Thursday, Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o led the groundbreaking of an Arcade which management described as a landmark project that will make great contribution to realizing the vision of the county.

“The YWCA strategic plan of 2019-2023 provides a comprehensive plan that will see the organisation uplift it’s structure and consolidate it’s resource base through development and extraction of it’s existing structures, ” said Debora Olwal, the National Secretary for YWCA.

Nyong’o applauded the entity for putting emphasis on key areas of development which includes climate change and building the resilience of youth to counter violence in the society.

“As a county we value women and the youth and we have made some milestones in improving their welfare through inclusion in the cabinet and other positions in the government,” says Nyong’o.

YWCA is a non -governmental Christian development organization that was founded in 1912.

YWCA architectural plan for Kisumu branch(photo courtesy)

Where it all began

The institution initially served the Europeans who were introduced to the organisation to give accommodation to girls and women who were affected by the war when their husbands were taken to fight as soldiers and some killed and their homes broken down.

Women and girls were in distress which led to introduction of hostels and home care centres to accommodate them and give them proper care.

Later on, contact was made with worldwide YWCA through letters to consider opening doors for all races.

As a county we value women and the youth and we have made some milestones in improving their welfare through inclusion in the cabinet and other positions in the government

Anyang’ Nyong’o

Over 40 years later, this was realized in Kenya when a voluntary membership and service was set up ,money was raised and hostels were built to support women and girls.

Upon the set up of the institution girls and women were taught to cook, gardening, cleaning,singing, Swahili, German ,printing and bible study.

The first meeting of the YWCA was held in January 1914 in Nairobi to register Kenya as a society to help women and girls.

Fast forward

Today there are many branches of YWCA, Kisumu being one of them having started in 1968 , the official launching done in 1972 and the main aim was to bring women and girls together who came from different ethnic and religious groups within the country.

“I am humbled by the Kisumu launch, ” says YWCA Patron Rebecca Kaguru .

“It will create employment, which is important for young people,” she further noted.

Governor Nyong’o and former Mp Karachuonyo, Phoebe Asiyo with other founder members of YWCA(photo by Gloria Sang)

Phoebe Asiyo, Former member of parliament of Karachuonyo, also encouraged the county government to set up a branch to serve as safe space for old women.

STORY BY: Gloria Sang and Naomie Mosawe

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