More than 430 students have graduated  from Sokoni Vocational Training Center with a large number of the graduants in male-dominated courses being the female contrary to the past.

The number of students in the 41 Vocational Training Centers (VTC) in Kilifi has reportedly increased to 7,500 paving way to self-employment in the county.

Speaking with the media after graduating with a certificate in Automobile Repairs, 28-year-old Joyce Tabu Kalala, a mother of three expressed her joy having acquired the skills while narrating her life challenges.

She explained how lack of school fees contributed to her dropping out in class six, followed by early pregnancy that led her into an abusive marriage.

“After running away from my abusive marriage, as though things were also not good at home, I decided to enroll myself at the VTC because I figured out it would be a better opportunity to develop myself”, Kalala said.

“My ex-husband used to abuse me telling me that am just seated there eating and adding no value to life. I thank God I will now be able to take care of myself and my babies”, she added.

She further said that despite her being the only female and also pregnant in her class, she did not loose hope and worked extra hard.

“I did not listen to any criticism from my fellow classmates and continued with my training with determination and hoped to benefit from it”, she said.

Kilifi County Executive Committee Member (CECM) for Education, Clara Chonga  stated that she is happy that girls are now taking male-dominated jobs into consideration including plumbing, electrical courses and auto mobile repair.

She added that many organizations are ready to partner with training centers in order to support the youths.

“The county government offers scholarships to those who lack school fees besides the current project of constructing more VTC. For those who dropped out of school, it is not late for you to enroll yourself so that we can improve this county’s economy.” Chonga said.

Speaking to the media, the director general from the Life Skills Promoters organization Emma Wacira explained that they have developed a project to sponsor young people to join technical colleges in 17 counties in the country including Kilifi county and Kwale county.

According to the Director, since last year they have enrolled 1,631 young people in technical colleges in Kilifi county where today 430 students have been able to qualify with 51 percent of that number being female.

Wacira stated that they are tackling the main challenge of students who are young mothers by providing day care services to their babies in order to concentrate with their studies.

By Treeza Auma

Treeza Auma is a Digital Content Producer and founder of KTMN She is also Television journalist at Kenya News Agency and Leadership Accelerator at Women in News.

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