The 2nd annual gala for the Taita Taveta Professional Women’s Association was held at The Vacani Resort on December 15th, 2018. The gala event began at 3 pm with lots of flair and glam as the professional women of Taita Taveta County made way into the Vacani conference room. The Mistress of Ceremony for the day, Mchikirwa Ndelejaye took the opportunity to welcome all the women into the forum and made them feel at home. Introduction later ensued as the ladies got to familiarize themselves with the new faces and better they got to be more acquainted with the members of the various tables they were placed. The gala was sponsored by Wildlife Works, Equity bank, the Vacani Resort, and the Johnes Mwaruma Foundation.
Present in the event were Taveta MP Hon Dr. Naomi Shaban, Wundanyi MP Hon Danson Mwashako, MCA Maria Chao Wakio, the chair lady of the association Milka Righa, Emily Kituri the education officer, Principal Kajire Girls Phidilia Kilimo, Deputy Principal Voi Girls Emily Mwakulia, Laban Mwashighadi from the Senators office, Equity Bank Chief of Operation Teresia Warui, TsavoWrite Media Group CEO Mr. Job Ogweno, among other stakeholders who support the initiative. The theme of the event was to “educate a girl and empower the world.” Most speeches give during the gala were in line with the theme of the night and ensured to emphasize the importance of educating the girl child.
The first speaker of the day was Emily Mwakuli, deputy principal of Voi girls who voiced out the issue that was affecting the girl child and encouraging the women present to help in ensuring that the girl-child received education and stayed in school. She pointed out that” parenting is a God give responsibility” and ensured that the parenting of today was part of the problem just as it was about the children of today. Next on the podium was the principal of Kajire Girls High School, Phidilia Kilimo, who ensured to remind parents to ask themselves what kind of education they were providing for their children. She highlighted the achievements of Kajire Girls ICT club who were nominated for the innovation award of the year. Emily Kituri, the education officer, was next and she pointed out that education was not given the right attention at county 006. She was quick to point out the need for reforms in the county in a bid to attract investors for the education sector to the county. She said,” the only thing more expensive than education is not educating at all.”
Hon Maria Chao was called upon, and she gave a short speech she asked the people of Taita Taveta to put education in the forefront very prioritizing things above it. She urged people to apply for bursaries and sponsorships to help them with the issue of lacking school fees. Mr. Laban Mwashighadi, a representative of the senator, was next on the stand and he commended the association for the work that they were doing as he acknowledged that women were shakers and movers of the world. He also acknowledged that several grades were being wasted in Taita Taveta County.
Milka Righa, the chair lady of the Taita Taveta professional women’s association, was next on the podium with a short speech in which she highlighted the start of the association, what it had done and where it was currently. She urged women who were not part of the group to pay the KES 2000/= and become members. “Never doubt that a small thoughtful group of people can change the world, “she explained as she shared her concerns on gender and child abuse in the county. She campaigned against patriarchy in the county and asked that more women should be in leadership as women were empathetic to situations than their male counterparts. She also thanked the sponsors of the event and guest present. She concluded her speech by asking Hon Naomi Shaban if she would accept to be the patron of the group TTPWA.
The guest speaker, Hon Naomi Shaban was next on the podium a meticulous speech on the children of Taita and what is wrong with how they are brought up today. She spoke in length of equal representation and reminded the audience to come back home during census so that the county can receive its due on equalization and marginalization funds. She touched on the education sector and congratulated the educators in the room for the commendable work they were doing. She went ahead to accept the invitation to be the patron of TTPWA. Wundanyi MP Hon Danson Mwashako, was last on the podium having been late to the gala. He expressed his desire to be a member of the association through association and commended the women their work throughout the year. He encouraged the women to be united and to continue with the same spirit and asked them to keep working towards making the county better.
The two-year strategic plan of the group was then officially launched and was presented to Milka Righa by Hon Shaban. A cake was cut in commemoration to this event and was shared with the rest of the attendees. After the cake cutting, it was time to award the people who tried their very best in various ways in the year 2018. There were a total of 10 categories in which the ladies were to be awarded. The champion in the fight against Gender Based violence award was won by Martha Mghendi who was the first lady to build a safe house for women in Mwatate. The science and technology innovation award saw Kajire girls clinch the award as Lucy Mwanjala of the Daily nation took the trophy of Media/PR personality of the year. The chair lady Milka Righa won the children right, and mentorship champion of the year award as Veronica Marami aka Mao took home the education champion of the year award. , and Nerea Ojanga won the health professional of the year award. Libi Ndango was seen to clinch the female artist of the year award, and Anne Wanjala took the business/ agribusiness lady of the year. Manjala Sio was the last on the list to clinch the Wildlife Environment conservation champion of the year.
Finally, the event was called to a close with Mwachia Madeda, the County First Lady’s PA, giving a short speech with greetings from the County First Lady, a vote of thanks was given and prayers thanking the Almighty for a successful Gala and for the meal to be served. Guests ate having been helped by the ever efficient Vacani Resort staff and the people left at their own pleasure afterward.
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