Theme:- “Eliminating Harmful Practices Affecting Children”.
The Day of the African Child has been celebrated on June 16 every year since 1991, to raise awareness of the continuing need for improvement of the education provided to African children. The Day of the African Child is also an opportunity to raise awareness for the ongoing need to improve the education of children living across Africa. It’s a need that still very much exists today. encourages people’s spirit of abundance to share something special with a child in Africa.
Kiambu County has witnessed a surge in the number of cases of child abuse, Female Genital Mutilation-(FGM), defilement and teenage pregnancies.
In a collaborative effort to mitigate and tackle these issues the County Government has partnered with USAID/ World Vision – Tumikia Mtoto and DREAMS Program in select Sub Counties to create awareness through grassroots organisations offering mentorship programs and psychosocial support to survivors of violence especially children and their families.
The USAID funded DREAMS – (Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-free, Mentored and Safe) program empowers vulnerable adolescent girls and young women between the ages of 10 and 24 with the knowledge and skills they need to make healthy choices and remain HIV-free.
The Initiative employs a variety of approaches to provide economic support to adolescent girls and young women. This includes training in financial literacy to develop a culture of saving, entrepreneurship training to provide skills to start and run small enterprise, vocational skills training for those who are eligible and provision of business start-up kits. Those who choose to attend a vocational skills training are supported in identification of internship and job opportunities.
The County Government is also in the process of developing a Child Protection and Social Policy to safeguard the rights of children and the vulnerable in the society. Technical Working Groups – (TWG’s) were formed at the Ward level last year.This has streamlined response to cases of child abuse, defilement and FGM with members of the community taking a more active role in rescuing survivors and reporting to authorities for action. The Judiciary has also been a key stakeholder, with magistrates in the Sub Counties setting aside special courts and hearings to expedite the cases and delivering justice to the survivors promptly.
The County Government continually seeks ways to empower members of the community through capacity building and systems strengthening to ensure that all members live in a healthy society free of violence. It is a collaborative effort and community based solutions have proven to be more effective.
Every time a child is saved on the dark side of life, every time one of us makes an effort to make a difference in a child’s life, we put light and healing into our lives – Oprah Winfrey.