REPRIEVE FOR GIRL CHILD AS CHILDFUND OPENS A RESCUE CENTRE AT KAMARANDI, THARAKA


Alice Anukur(left), country director ChildFund Kenya and Dr. Issa Kipera, programs and sponsorship director in ChildFund during commissioning of Kamarandi girls rescue centre in Tharaka South Subcounty
By Denis Mutua

Worth Noting:

  • For girls who might undergo abuse and fail to access services of the facility from issues like corruption and cultural beliefs, Kanana explained they are working with various partners including children department, ministry of education, and local administration among others to overcome such challenges.
  • These partners will be trained on how to report such cases of abuse anonymously such that no one knows who will have referred the girls to the facility to avoid stigmatization of the girls and their families by the community they come from.
  • Despite the facility being located in Tharaka South, the programs coordinator said it will admit girls without considering the county they come from or their denomination and religion.

Fight against female genital mutilation, marriages, sexual abuse and other forms of injustices done on girls has gotten a big boost following an establishment of a girls’ rescue Centre at Kamarandi in Tharaka South sub county.

A Hundred bed capacity hall at Kamarandi girls rescue center

The 100 capacity facility situated at Kamarandi primary and secondary school vicinity will incorporate girls rescued from FGM, early marriages, sexual abuse and other acts of girls’ rights violation.

To be able to reach the community, local administrators like chiefs and assistant chiefs will work to sensitize locals and create awareness about the facility which will see locals become aware of the noble program at ground level.

According to Ms. Emily Kanana the ChildFund programs coordinator, girls who will get admitted at the facility will have a trained social worker and a counselor who will help them undergo a process of healing, coping and overcoming various abuses that will have been inflicted on them.

Since the abusers of these girls could be their very family members, the girls’ families will too be visited by the program’s champions for sensitizations, training and counseling to make them a safe place, before the girls get re-integrated back into the families.

She further explained that the duration at which the girls will stay at the facilities will depend on the degree of the matter at hand since some issues might be legal and thus until they are convinced that the girls are ready for re-integration with their respective families, they will remain at the facility.

Kanana also revealed that for school going girls, learning will still go on while they are in the facility since all the arrangements have been made to ensure they does not stop schooling.

“The facility being adjacent to Kamarandi primary and secondary school will ensure school going girls who are admitted at the rescue Centre will continue attending school even for the time they will be with us. We have all arrangement in place in collaboration with the administration to ensure the program becomes a success,’’ she explained.

For girls who might undergo abuse and fail to access services of the facility from issues like corruption and cultural beliefs, Kanana explained they are working with various partners including children department, ministry of education, and local administration among others to overcome such challenges.

These partners will  be trained on how to report such cases of abuse anonymously such that no one knows who will have referred the girls to the facility to avoid stigmatization of the girls and the their families by the community they come from.

Despite the facility being located in Tharaka South, the programs coordinator said it will admit girls without considering the county they come from or their denomination and religion.

Speaking during the rescue centre’s commissioning event at Kamarandi, ChildFund country director Alice Anukur lauded the community for the efforts they have accorded them to make the establishment of the rescue Centre a success.

She noted that one out three girls which translates to about 30% undergoes sexual harassment among other forms of rights violation, a thing that such facility will now help in curving.

She said they are dedicated to ensure FGM practice in Tharaka that has made Tharaka Nithi being listed among other counties engaging in the retrogressive practice is completely eradicated as she urged those practicing it to find an alternative means of earning a living rather than having young girls undergo the painful process of FGM.

Anukur further revealed that through ChildFund programme, 100 million children worldwide have been reached which has enabled them grow healthy, educated, skilled and safe from different forms of abuse.

ChildFund programs and sponsorship director Dr. Issa Kipera expressed his pleasure for the success of the project and said they are working to ensure that every child is given a chance to grow and become who they want to become.

Dr.Kipera indicated that they are targeting children in age bracket of 0-5 and 6-14 years with focus being on sexual reproductive health and life skills.

The other age bracket of 15-24 years are being equipped with various skills and offered employment opportunities to enable them be able to earn income.

Marimanti ward MCA Susan Mwindu lauded the efforts and milestone attained by ChildFund in the county towards keeping girl child safe from different kind of abuse that have become common.

She urged other non-governmental organizations and the County government to copy the example portrayed by ChildFund but also emphasized on the need for such a Centre to be established to accommodate boys since they are also facing similar challenges.

Tharaka South Sub county deputy county commissioner Simon Mutahi promised that as government they will aid in documentation of the facility to ensure it is registered for smooth operation in full compliance of the law in place.

Others who were present during the commissioning of the facility were County coordinator of children services Mr. Wachira, senior principal chief in the county Simon Maingi who represented county commissioner Beverly Opwora among others.

ChildFund operates in 9 different African countries and has been operating in Kenya since the year 1960, currently being in 26 different counties.

Other Counties under ChildFund in Mt. Kenya include, Kiambu, Murang’a, Embu, Meru, Nakuru, Laikipia and Nyeri.

Its programs focus on child protection, advocacy, ECDE, household economic strengthening, WASH, food security, emergency response, health and nutrition, climate change and resilience building.

With the Kamarandi Centre now being in place, fight against FGM which has been rampant in Tharaka has gotten a boost which is expected to yield positive results even for other non-government organizations who have been on the fight against FGM like Plan International.

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