By Wycliffe Andabwa

An empowerment program organized by Pastor Dorcas Rigathi, the Spouse of the Deputy President, witnessed an impressive turnout of over 4,500 widows at Malava Boys High School, surpassing initial expectations. The gathering shed light on the persistent issue of widowhood in the region, with a significant presence of young widows in their 20s and 30s. The rise in widow numbers has been linked to factors such as alcoholism and age-related deaths within the community.

Throughout the event, emphasis was placed on the necessity for widows to address alcoholism levels by engaging with male family members and pursuing collaborative solutions. Various stakeholders, including government bodies and religious organizations, were urged to join forces to provide support and resources for widows nationwide. Pastor Dorcas drew from personal experiences of being raised by a widow in challenging circumstances to motivate the widows to persevere and strive for a brighter future.

In her address, Pastor Dorcas underscored the significance of treating widows with dignity and respect when they seek assistance, highlighting the obstacles they often encounter in securing essential resources for their families. Widows were encouraged to explore economic opportunities through group initiatives and move beyond traditional practices like merry-go-rounds.

The event saw the participation of prominent figures, including the Kakamega First Lady, the Woman Representative, religious leaders, local government officials, and representatives from the Ministry of Social Protection and Labor, showcasing a unified approach toward empowering widows for enhanced livelihoods.

The Spouse to Kenya’s DP, Dorcas Rigathi is currently on a four-day tour of western Kenya, engaging in various activities such as empowering widows, conducting medical camps, meeting with clergy members, and empowering disability groups in the region. Kakamega, Vihiga, and Bungoma have been identified for visitation.

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