The Retired Officers Welfare (ROWE) group, is redefining the art of retirement in the serene rural heartlands of Kakamega North County.
Their story, a testament to the pursuit of both economic prosperity and community, unfolds against the backdrop of the attractive Kakamega landscape.
Comprising retired individuals, ROWE stands as a stark contrast to the solitude and inactivity that often accompany retirement.
Initially formed for retired male teachers, ROWE has evolved to embrace members from diverse professions such as former Police Officers, Health Personnel, and those associated with the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB).
Widows have also assumed the roles of their departed husbands.
To join this tight-knit community, prospective members from Kakamega North contribute Ksh500 and invest a minimum of Ksh10,000 in shares.
Their monthly gatherings, fondly referred to as “ntsukha” or “ovutsushi,” serve as more than just a financial pooling ceremony.
Each member contributes Ksh2,500, with an additional Ksh500 designated for community endeavors.
From the amount, Ksh300 fuels the benevolent fund while Ksh200 covers administrative expenses.
Members take pride in demonstrating how they have utilized previous contributions, showcasing grade cows, poultry units, educational receipts, and other successful ventures.
ROWE members aren’t solely reliant on external trainers; they have cultivated their own expertise.
These monthly visits also serve as educational platforms for economic and social improvement.
From dairy farming to sugarcane cultivation, horticulture, and even book publishing, members share their knowledge enthusiastically.
ROWE also operates a Sacco and extends financial assistance to bereaved families.
The group’s key lessons for retirees are clear: avoid loneliness, stay active physically, intellectually, and spiritually, and remain in a perpetual learning mode.
If you’re a retiree from Kakamega North Sub-County, the ROWE group beckons you to join their dynamic and progressive community.
By Enock Shirandula
The writer is the chairman of ROWE group (of retirees), a retired educationist, a Kabarasi Language reviewer of Kabarasi BTL project and The Author of SO DIFFERENT SHE WAS.
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