Sigalagala National Polytechnic Launches Lactation Room
The administration of Sigalagala National Polytechnic in Kakamega County has developed a lactation area to allow breastfeeding moms who teach at the university to breastfeed their newborns in a safe atmosphere.
Students from the institution who have babies will also use the facilities.
Geoffrey Wanyonyi, Dean of Students, stated that the lactorium was built with funding from the Canadian government.
He stated that the facility would be active on Monday of the next week and asked the Polytechnic fraternity to take care of it.
Cafeline Kwamboka, the facility’s officer in charge, stated that the institution is the only one in Kenya with the facility among polytechnics.
No other TVET institution has a facility like this.
She stated that it is an initiative of the institution’s gender mainstreaming unit and the dean of students.
“We were trying to see how we can assist you once we saw this challenge where some of the tutors had babies and were forced to come with them in class. The young ones need to be taken good care of,” she noted.
She stated that the facility has strict sanitary requirements that must be followed by all individuals who use it.
Kwamboka stated that the management of the institution is passionate about gender equality, which has enabled them to achieve gender mainstreaming.
“Gender mainstreaming has not been a challenge at Sigalagala National Polytechnic because our management is gender sensitive.
“When we proposed to the board of management, they were so glad and we got all the support we needed,” she noted.
When some of the personnel went for training under the Kenya Education For Employment Programme, the concept was born (KEFEP).
Kenya and Colleges and Institutes Canada collaborate on the KEFEP program (CICan).
“They were the ones who inspired us to accomplish our vision for the girls. We learned that keeping our girls in college is beneficial to them,” she said.
She stated that in the past, most women who attended college dropped out or skipped lessons when they became pregnant or had babies.
“Most of them will miss classes when they have babies as they do not have caretakers. As the gender mainstreaming, we thought that we needed to have such a facility,” she added.