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Programme 6: Child Protection and Family Support

Why we do it

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Because every child and young adult deserves the chance to be safe, happy, healthy and with time to play and study.

Poverty limits choices and sometimes problems at home and at school can seem insurmountable.

Parents don’t want to send their children to work or leave them alone at home but when there is barely enough food for even one meal of maize a day, their choices are limited. Mama Siti said the way it is

“When I find work I leave the younger children with their grandmother.
When she is not there I leave them here alone”

71% of Kilifi residents live in poverty.
1 in 3 girls experience sexual violence before turning 18 years.
Under-age marriage is 47.7% - the highest in the country.
There were 249 cases of defilement reported in Kilifi County in 2015

How we do it

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Kesho Kenya strives to stabilise vulnerable households in our community through care and understanding.

Kesho Kenya works closely with children, schools, families and other duty bearers in the county to raise child protection awareness and to undertake case management.

1. Advocacy and County Influence
Kesho Kenya will shortly be publishing County Child Protection Coordination Guidelines which we wrote in partnership with the Ministry in 2015/16.

2. Promoting Child Protection in Schools
Kesho Kenya has developed a Schools Safeguarding Policy and is piloting it in 9 schools in Kilifi.

3. Workshops for all Kesho Children and Parents.
We host on average 6 workshops a year. They are tailored to suit children from age 7 upwards plus parents too. We cover The Rights of the Child, Child Protection and Sexual and Reproductive Health plus how to preserve evidence and report abuse when it arises.

4. Eight Community Child Protection Cluster Groups
With 86 Kesho Kenya parents as members they enjoy meeting regularly to discuss how to overcome challenges of child protection in their community. Often the women invite others and are inspired to form their own saving merry-go-rounds to help them manage their money and make better choices for their children.

5. Case management of child abuse cases.
Since 2012 we have handled 74 cases of child abuse among Kesho Kenya children. Most of these are neglect and child labour where parents need their children to supplement the family income or to stay at home to look after younger siblings while they find work. With Isabel, a lawyer and our Child Protection Programme Officer, we are well placed to deal with cases with sensitivity and professionalism.

Our Impacts

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Child protection is really getting on the county agenda

The Child Protection County Coordination Guidelines are an important step towards ensuring services to protect children are used and are joined up.
74 cases of child abuse handled since 2012 and 18 closed through careful management.
The Safeguarding Policy for Schools is an enormous step forward to protect vulnerable children. With teachers championing the initiatve it could be rolled out countrywide.

Kesho Kenya’s CP Officer is hopeful about the future….
“Children have for eons been treated like second class citizens in this community. However, over the years, a lot of laws and policies have been put in place to ensure every child has equal opportunity. At Kesho Kenya we too strive to implement the laws in collaboration with government institutions and other stakeholders with intent to uphold the rights and responsibilities of the child; one law at a time”