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

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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1. Advocacy and County Influence: We participated in several Area Advisory Council (AAC) meetings at the Kilifi County level and Ganze and Kilifi North Sub-County level. We were also part of the community sensitization forums on children rights and education for organized by Ganze Sub-county AAC (in Jaribuni and Ganze wards).
The Safeguarding Program staff also attended Kilifi Law Court Users Committee (CUC) meetings and facilitated a dialogue session during a community sensitization for community court users forum in Matsangoni Ward on children rights, parental responsibilities, reporting and referral system
2. Promoting Child Protection in Schools: Kesho Kenya School Safeguarding Policy Guidelines were implemented in 36 schools and were able to reach over 13,000 children.
3. Workshops for all Kesho Children and Parents: We host on average of 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: 2018 only, we handled a total of 30 children cases, disaggregated by gender into 13 boys and 17 girls. The presenting cases included neglect by parents, sexual abuse, physical abuse, truancy, emotional abuse, drug/substance abuse, trauma, school drop outs, suicide attempts, child marriage indiscipline and petty theft. With Hedaya, our experienced Safeguarding Programme Officer, we are well placed to deal with cases with sensitivity and professionalism.
6. Street Business School: SBS empowers parents of our beneficiaries and other interested adults to generate income. During class, they learn all they need to know to identify and implement a successful business. In one-to-one coaching sessions SBS members are adviced on their businesses or how too improve their lifestyle.

Our Impacts

In 2018, our School Safeguarding Programme reached 1,678 children teaching children on child rights and its responsibilities, reporting mechanism and forms and signs of child abuse. We managed and followed up 30 cases of child abuse. 87 adults participated in our Street Business School which empowers them to generate income.

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Since 2012 a total of 279 members have joined 21 Child Protection cluster groups.

Up to date 36 schools in Kilifi County have benefitted from the School Safeguarding Policy project. The Safeguarding Policy for Schools is an enormous step forward to protect vulnerable children. With teachers championing the initiative it could be rolled out countrywide.