KWEPU is a community based organization undertaking various community activities which include environmental conservation, educational and health programs. Most of our programs are directly linked to schools. In 2020, COVID-19 cases were reported in our region and preventive measures include physical and social distancing, the use of masks or coverings has been recommended in public settings to minimize the risk of transmission.
The ministry of health in Kenya directed that all pupils in schools and general public must wear masks to help reduce the spread of the virus and it is on this basis that KWEPU proposed to establish a center for mass production of masks in Rusinga.
KWEPU is constituted by women, men and youths from the locality. Some women had interest in tailoring but could not afford to raise money to join the polytechnic to pursue the course to realize their dreams. When we received the funds to buy the tailoring machines, we chose to empower these women by offering them tailoring course to acquire basic knowledge on garment making. These was done just by engaging a female expert on garment making to train them using our own machines. Their first training was on how to operate the electric machines used in mask making since it was the priority.
We received funds for purchasing two electric machines and one manual machine, fabric for masks and tailoring items. KWEPU has managed to train 4 women who work in turn to produce the masks and supply the same in schools. Since the program was implemented, we have reached several school going pupils in three schools, an act that has been embraced by the community.
Dr. Williams Primary School
This is a public primary school located in Kamasengre east sub-location. The school has a population of 500 pupils. We have managed to provide each pupil with a mask and is a good signal to the parents, school and the community.
In the first picture, pupils are leaving school in the evening happily after getting the masks standing on the left is the school security officer.
In the second picture, the pupils of grade four are displaying the masks donated to them and in the third and last picture they have put on the masks.
Uya Primary School
This is also a public primary school located in Kamasengre West sub-location with a total population of 332 pupils. We have also managed to supply each with the mask.
NYAMUGA Special School for the Disabled
This is the only disable school within the island found on the eastern side some three kilometers from Mbita town. It has a population of 190 pupils and we have managed to supply 100 masks.
The program has received congratulatory remarks across the three sub-districts we have reached since its implementation. Most parents could not afford to supply their kids with quality masks to conform to the government directives so our masks production center is an immediate solution to them.
We project to reach out to more schools in the year 2022 since COVID-19 continue to threaten several lives with in our community and prevention is better than cure.
Rusinga island has a total of 20 public primary schools with an estimated total population of 6,000 pupils. We also project to give each and every pupil two masks in the first six months. We also plan to train four more women on garment making next year 2022 to increase the number since we shall reach out to more schools.