Child Protection and Family Support
The right to a healthy environment
Why We Do It
As an organisation that works with young people, we have the responsibility to protect them from any rights violation. We understand the right to protection, in its broadest and most comprehensive sense, as the right to a healthy environment that is free of any kind of violence, abuse, exploitation, negligence, discrimination and/or degrading punishment.
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Every child and young adult deserves the chance to be safe, happy, healthy and with time to play and study. 71 percent of Kilifi residents live in poverty. Poverty limits choices. 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 options are limited. Poverty leaves its trace. Especially girls need to be protected, for in Kilifi County:
- 1 in 3 girls experience sexual violence before turning 18 years.
- 11 percent of the girls are married before turning 15.
- 13,624 pregnancies among teenage girls aged between 15-19 and an additional 290 cases among girls aged 10-14 years old were reported in 2018.
- 7,678 cases of child abuse reported or pending including sexual violation and sodomy in 2018
How We Do It
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.
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2019 was a successful year for the safeguarding department. Here is a summary of our numerous activities.
Networking, Visibility, Representation at government and forums: The safeguarding team participated in several Area Advisory Council (AAC) meetings at Kilifi County, Ganze and Kilifi North Sub county level.
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Compliance to safeguarding policies: We inducted new staff, volunteers, interns and other institutions who were coming into contact with our beneficiaries. We also supported our organisation by conducting self-audits, risk assessment, policy reviews and regular in- house trainings for all staff, volunteers and even stakeholders.
Risk assessment: As part of risk assessment, we conducted home visits for our beneficiaries and we were able to identify the existing risk factors, their family needs and offered support mechanisms where need be. We did the same for Kesho Kenya as an organisation and updated our risk registers.
Strengthening community safeguarding structures: We conducted child protection training with cluster parents to examine specific risks where we were able to reach 6 clusters with 173 women and 25 men totaling to 198 members. All clusters are actively participating in discussions and ways to improve child safeguarding within their respective communities.
School safeguarding policy guidelines: The policy ensures a culture of safe recruitment for both staff and non-teaching staff to help identify potential child abusers. Child protection concerns are handled in the best interest of the child. At present, Kesho safeguarding policy guidelines are implemented in 29 schools. We were able to reach 4,370 children in 2019.
Guidance and training of counseling teachers:A 4-day training was done on child therapy and adolescent counseling skills where we reached to 11 teachers. All the teachers received certification on child adolescent counseling skills by Kenya Association of Professional Counselors.
Workshop with Kesho parents and children: We had a 2-day training with Kesho primary school children and a total of 30 pupils attended. We also conducted another 2 day training for Kesho secondary students reached to 19 of them. They all were trained on child rights, types of abuses, signs of abuses,rings of responsibilities, the right reporting mechanisms, good and bad touch.
Case Management and counselling: A total of 11 children cases have been handled 4 boys and 7 girls. The cases included child marriage, truancy and indiscipline, parental neglect, sexual abuse, child trafficking, attempted suicide and defilement. 12 cases were referred to the children department. We conducted 4 counselling sessions so as to ensure that the children are able to continue pursuing their education.
Street Business School. (SBS)A total of 174 participants, 20 men and 154 women, participated in the SBS training that empowers the community to generate income and sustain themselves. Five classes have so far graduated and issued with certificates. 522 one on one coaching sessions with SBS members were held to advice on their businesses and how to improve. All SBS members participated in Baseline, mid-line and exit surveys.
Sexual Reproductive HealthWe conducted a 2-day training on sexual reproductive health and rights for children where we reached 63 children. They learnt on adolescent sexual reproductive health and increased their self-awareness in order to cope with their day-to-day life and be able to make informed decisions.
What a mother says
“I have always been a harsh mother”, says Radhiya after a child protection training. “My ears are now open on how to deal with children more so teenagers. I now know how to approach issues and ensure I maintain open communication lines between me and my child. My son is currently my friend and bodyguard. Whenever he encounters challenges I am the first person he runs to for help.”