Child Defilement

Children have become endangered species as defilement becomes prevalent in our country. These cases do not see the light of day because 90% of children are defiled by people known to them; relatives, fathers, uncles, brothers or cousins and even grandparents.

This was the case in Elgeyo Marakwet County where a three year old boy was defiled by his grandmother who is said to be HIV positive. The boy’s mother had gone to the market in Eldoret and had left her son in the care of his grandmother.

Child defilement is a violation of children rights which are inalienable, indivisible and inherent to all children. Those involved in child defilement fail to protect the rights of these children as articulated in the child act article 34 that states that children should be protected from sexual abuse.

If the grandmother transmitted HIV to her grandson, she will have infringed on the boy’s right to develop healthily. The boy however has to wait for three months to know his health status as the mother struggles to get justice and medication in a village where even talking about such an issue is forbidden.

Studies have shown that defiled children prefer to keep mum because when they report, a relative would be arrested and maybe he/she is the breadwinner of the family. Action for Children in Conflict (AfCiC) believes that the Kenyan child who is protected by international and national legislation should not have to live in fear of speaking out about defilement and encourages the family members to report those involved.

AfCiC strongly condemn this appalling incident and ask for immediate action to ensure justice is done.

AfCiC Chips in towards Alleviation of Illiteracy

Action for Children in Conflict (AfCiC) attended Kiambu’s County 50th International Literacy Day celebration at Ruiru Stadium dubbed ‘Literacy for Improved livelihood’. The aim of the celebration was to highlight the importance of literacy to individuals and the community.

The celebration acknowledged that literacy is one of the key elements needed to promote sustainable development, as it empowers people to make the right decisions in the areas of economic growth, social development and environmental integration.

AfCiC recognises that literacy is a basis for lifelong learning and plays a crucial foundational role in the creation of sustainable, prosperous and peaceful societies and in May 2013, in partnership with the government they commenced an adult education class at the Thika Working Centre.

The government through the Thika District Adult and Continuing Education Office (DACEO) provided AfCiC with adult education instructors. This partnership assists in acquisition of knowledge, development of technical and vocational skills, values and attitudes, which empower learners to manage their resources efficiently within an informed decision making framework.

Apart from reading, writing and arithmetic lesson, the adult class is also taught Income Generating Activities (IGA) such as bead works and soap making so as to sustain themselves economically and in the long run help build the economy of the country.

AfCiC believes that this will help reduce the 38.5% (according to the Kenya National Literacy Survey of 2007) of adults and youth who lack the minimum literacy levels required for participation in national development.

During the celebration, Ruiru Deputy County Commissioner, Mercy Gatobu, read a speech from Prof Jacob Kaimenyi, Cabinet Secretary for Education, Science and Technology. Through the speech, the government committed to improving the quality of Adult and Continuing Education programme by addressing the shortage of teachers for the programme.

The government has also created a Special Board of Adult and Continuing Education after the repeal of the Board of Adult Education Act Cap 223 of 1966. The government believes that the creation of this board is a clear manifestation of the importance of the Adult and Continuing Education programme in the national education sector.

AfCiC believes that to achieve the three main pillars of sustainable development: economic development, social development and environmental protection, there is need of relevant stakeholder participation in addressing this multi-faceted enormity of adult illiteracy problem facing 7.8 million Kenyans.