The Girls on the Move program has just concluded its first cohort, and what a journey it has been! This program was set up with a mission to bridge the supply chain skills gap, increase female representation in the workforce, and reduce youth unemployment amongst women. The program provided young women with the skills and experience they need to succeed in the world of work and demystify the notion that only men can do supply chain. The results speak for themselves!
All the girls who participated in the program received certificates signed by the Governor of Kisumu, His Excellency Professor Peter Anyang’ Nyong’o. Mr John Awiti, County Executive Committee (CEC) Member for the Department of Education, Technical Training, Innovation and Social Services, presented the certificates on behalf of the Governor. Mr. Awiti shared the Governor's speech, in which he recognized the Girls on the Move program as a unique and intentional model, which equips young women with the necessary skills, training, mentorship and support, in order to lay a strong foundation for their careers in the supply chain industry. Furthermore, the Governor called on the young ladies to which called on the young ladies graduating from the Girls on the Move program to go out boldly and stay focused, disciplined and goal-oriented in their careers.
"This internship model is intentional and unique in equipping young women with the relevant tools and confidence they need to build their careers. It is great to learn that this program has made great progress in such a short time." H.E. Prof. Peter Anyang' Nyong'o, Governer, County of Kisumu
Mr. Awiti personally appreciated the Girls on the move Program and its role in equipping the young women with skills such as confidence, communication, and emotional intelligence. Mr. Awiti also pointed out that young people need training in positive thinking, and shared his own story of how he ascended in the ranks, from being a classroom teacher to the President of Principals in Africa by doing things differently through positive thinking. We thank you for championing women's achievements by emphasizing that what a man can do, a woman can do it better.
"When I came to learn that you were taught these skills (confidence, communication, and emotional intelligence) here, count yourselves privileged and lucky, because I heard so many girls wanted to be in this position." Mr. John Awiti, CEC Member for Education, Technical Training, Innovation and Social Services
The Governor was also represented by Dr Gregory Ganda, CEC Member for the Department of Medical Services, Public Health and Sanitation, who spoke about the importance of resilience and how it guides us to adapt to the future. Dr. Ganda highlighted how the future is digital and urged the young women to think about how to do things differently through innovation. Moreover, Dr. Ganda pointed out why the young the ladies need to be vigilant of climate resilience, as they think about these solutions to address the environment changing around us.
"So resilience is the way of the future. You people will have to think differently. Think about what other people have done...to be able to succeed and what can others do to be able to succeed in the current circumstances." Dr. Greg Ganda, CEC Member for the Department of Medical Services, Public Health and Sanitation
We had the honor of also hosting Ms. Beatrice Odongo, CEC Member for the Department of Sports, Culture, Gender and Youth Affairs, who urged the graduates to get out of their comfort zone and claim their space in leadership, as young women. The graduation ceremony was attended by the girls' employers, who received gold-standard internship host certificates.
"So I want to encourage all of us, especially in the space of leadership, let young ladies come out. There is space for everyone. The only challenge is that no one will look for it for you. You have to look go out there and look for it... Be on the move, get out of the comfort zone and go for that space. " Ms. Beatrice Odongo, CEC Member for the Department of Sports, Culture, Gender and Youth Affairs
The Girls on the Move program has been hailed as a bridge between graduation and employment, and the girls who participated have gained valuable experience and skills that have prepared them for the world of work. Ten out of the 36 girls who participated in the program have already secured employment, while the others are equipped with valuable skills and experiences that make them the best in the market today.
The graduation ceremony occurred during the week of International Women's Day, making it an even more special occasion. Seeing these young women empowered and equipped with knowledge and skills to go out, gain employment, and be independent is the best way to celebrate this day.
The program started in Kisumu and scaled to another county, Nairobi. This is a true testament to the program’s impact and the incredible potential to transform the lives of young girls across the country.
None of this would have been possible without funding from The Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition and the support of the County Government of Kisumu led by His Excellency, the Governor himself, who has followed the program since its launch a year ago. His unwavering support and dedication to this program have been invaluable, and we are truly grateful for everything he and his office have done.
The program's success is also due to the wonderful partners, the employers, who have been amazing. Over the past eight months, they have opened their doors to our interns, providing them with valuable skills and experiences they will carry throughout their careers. Their dedication and commitment to empowering young girls in the supply chain industry have not gone unnoticed. Their willingness to mentor and train these girls on the job has equipped them with the confidence and skills they need to succeed in the workplace.
Congratulations to the girls who have participated in the program! They are an inspiration to us all, and there is no doubt they will go on to achieve great things in the future. The Girls on the Move program has been a resounding success, and we are excited to see what the future holds.