- The students will also push for financial support to undertake campaigns against teenage pregnancies and sexual gender-based violence.
- Homa Bay is listed among top counties with high teenage pregnancies and SGBV.
University students from Homa Bay have formed an association they will use to channel and address various challenges they face during schooling.
The students drawn from various universities across the country said they face various challenges that they would wish addressed by Homa Bay government.
Some of the challenges include how to secure attachment and internships opportunities.
The students want Homa Bay government and other elected leaders to come up with modalities of giving them — particularly those from poor families — bursaries to reduce the pressure they undergo as they pursue their studies.
Under an umbrella group called Homa Bay Universities Students Association, the students said they will use it to champion for their rights and interests.
HUSA chairman Alfred Amollo, his deputy Flanky Buong and their election overseer Mildred Awuor, said they no longer want politicians use them to influence elections and dump them afterwards.
Amollo said through the association, university students from the county will collectively push their agenda.
“Asking for attachment and internships placement from Homa government is not asking for much. Our elected leaders have the capacity to undertake it and save the situation,” Amollo said.
The student election was witnessed by Homa Bay government spokesperson Rachael Ogutu, former Kibiri MCA Kennedy Ondiek and Homa Bay UDA youth leader Kevine Ouma .
Speaking on Sunday after their elections at Kabunde Social Hall in Homa Bay town, Amollo said most students in the association are concerned with the way some MPs disburse bursaries. They said there is variance in the way the funds are allocated.
“Some give Sh10, 000 while others give Sh2,000. We don't know why there are such variances but we ask our leaders to give a substantial amount as bursaries,” he said.
According to HUSA, university fees cost their parents up to Sh150, 000 annually and therefore getting a bursary of Sh2,000 is like a drop in the ocean.
Buong said the association wants all vulnerable students to be supported. He proposed the formation of a kitty that will address the needs of all students who are struggling to pay fees.
“The students themselves understand the kind of suffering they undergo during schooling. Some of them cannot say it but we have come out as a group to air their plight,” he said.
The students will also push for financial support to undertake campaigns against teenage pregnancies and sexual gender-based violence.
Homa Bay is listed among top counties with high teenage pregnancies and SGBV.
Awuor said there is also high HIV prevalence, which threatens the well being of youths in the county.
The campaigns will help in empowering youths, overcome various social challenges and realise their dreams.
“Homa Bay is ranked among counties where youths are facing a lot of social challenges. We want to fight the stigma that many youths undergo,” Awuor said.
Ogutu said Homa Bay government is currently dealing with some of the challenges the students have raised. She said based on programmes at various departments, attachment and internships are provided.
“Even though the the government cannot give all of them placement at the same time, some students have been able to get absorbed. All departments have at least two interns from university,” she said.
Homa Bay government has also introduced a bursary programme to support students from vulnerable families.
Ondiek lauded the students for coming up with the association, noting that it will help them push their agenda together.