I, Florence Kanario, was born on 22nd July 1990 in Igembe Central, Meru County. I am the last born. The only girl in a family of three, two(2) boys and I. My upbringing was a humble one.
Have been brought up in a humble background. I started my education in neighbouring school called Machungulu in Igembe Central. This was to be my center of learning from nursery school till class eight. I was successful in my primary level exams, scored very good marks and joined Maua Girls Secondary school where I did my KCSE (Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education). Thereafter I joined KIMS (Kenya Institute Management Studies) to study Business Management. This was not destined to be my path. The course was not what I wanted and under the advisement of my father, I dropped out. My father noted that my passions lay elsewhere.
After leaving KIMS, I joined St. Pauls University and studied Community Development and Social Work.up to Diploma level.During that period, I also signed up as a volunteer with the Kenya Red Cross, of which my membership is valid to date.
My journey into politics started at age twenty (20). I vied for the National Youth Council position, which is an “Elective seat” . I won the election from the sub-location level to the national level. I represent the youth to date.
After some time I registered to be a live member in a Kenyan political party: Orange Democratic Movement (ODM). They held a party election where I was voted in as a Youth Representative both at location level and County level.I am currently the party’s Youth Coordinator. In this capacity , I was able to serve my community well and attend lot of leadership workshops in our country.
Last elections (2017), I felt that youth and women needed representation in the county government. After seeking advice from my party leader,he encouraged me to apply for a seat as a member of the county assembly. After expressing this interest publicly, we held party primaries. The race came down to three candidates, two men and I. The party held elections and I won. I was awarded the Certificate.
Armed with this Certificate, I started my campaign. Unfortunately, I lost to an independent candidate who is the current MCA
My political campaign trail was not an easy one.. I encountered lot of challenges on the ground. Predominantly,people wanted a lot of money from me in order to vote. In every meeting I attended or held, I parted with not less than 50k. My opponents parted with more.Being a young, single, unmarried woman was also an issue. For instance where I vied in Meru, there were no single woman who was elected.
I would like to help my community understand that having women in leadership is vital. With that they(the community), will be able to acknowledge women in community to lead and vote them as well . I found it difficult in Meru county where there were no woman elected apart from the nominated women rep. I would love it most if we can learn to vote based off of ideologies and not based off of candidates who give the voting public money.
We want more women in leadership. We need empowerment as young people to go engage in politics.To care enough to vie for public office.
I am so dedicated to serve my people but I can only do it while in leadership. Let’s help each other through this tough journey.