Teenage and young mothers at the KMET Vocational Training Centre can now spend quality time with their babies following the official opening of the KMET Day Care Centre, christened the Nurturing Care Centre, housed within the KMET Health Complex in Tom Mboya Estate, Kisumu.
Featuring play and sleeping areas decorated in catchy shapes and colors, the one story building is adjacent to the Vocational Training Centre and can accommodate up to 25 children.
Prior to this, KMET operated an Early Childhood Development Centre in a rented space about 15 minutes’ walk from the complex, meaning that student mothers could only spend so much time breast feeding and playing with their babies during breaks.
The new KMET Nurturing Care Centre is designed to improve the quality of caregiver-child interactions in order to ensure responsive stimulation in play, talking and listening, right nutrition and enhanced parenting skills.
The ribbon-cutting ceremony of the Centre was presided over by Conrad N. Hilton Foundation’s Senior Program Officer Lisa Bohmer who was visiting Siaya County where KMET, PATH and the County Government are implementing two Early Childhood Development programs dubbed Changamsha Watoto and Smart Start Siaya.
She recognized KMET’s efforts in integrating reproductive health in economic empowerment programs underscoring the need to invest in children in the process.
“Supporting early child development is a powerful investment which not only shapes children’s futures but also the future of our communities,” she said.
Monica Oguttu, the KMET Executive Director expressed her joy that the Center which is meant for children below four years is now integrated within the Heath Complex and encouraged KMET staff to also utilize the facility.
Painting, decoration and other interior finishes of the Centre was supported by Pathways to Growth and Development International (PGDI), a globally oriented non – profit association that addresses the needs of communities in Africa.
PGDI Chair Dr. K’Olewe who could not make it for the ceremony conveyed her well wishes writing that-: “We are proud to support KMET’s effort in training vulnerable teenage mothers and in providing quality care to their young children. We look forward to continued partnership with KMET and in serving the needs of local communities in other related initiatives”
The KMET Voctional Training Centre offers hands-on training on tailoring, dress making, beauty therapy, hairdressing, and food and beverage to girls and young women who also produce, at a fee, the re-usable sanitary towels that are distributed to needy girls, mostly students and pupils through partnership with other stakeholders in the sanitation and hygiene sector.
Some of the students are trained as paid-assemblers of the lifesaving Uterine Ballon Tamponade.