The Government has commissioned Vocational Training Equipment worth Sh20 million for children in Statutory Children Institutions (SCIs), acquired through funding from Global Affairs Canada.
Speaking after commissioning the equipment at Kabete Rehabilitation Centre in Nairobi, Public Service, Gender, Senior Citizens Affairs and Special Programmes CS, Prof Margaret Kobia, said the equipment will go a long way in supporting the rehabilitation and reintegration programmes.
“I wish to acknowledge the collaborative efforts of Global Affairs Canada, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Directorate of Children Services (DCS), Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP), Judiciary and Kenya Prisons Service on their role of promoting justice for children in Kenya and improving rehabilitation programs in our Statutory Children Institutions for sustainable reintegration,” she said.
Prof Kobia elaborated that under the project, two publications were produced, an Assessment of Rehabilitation and Social Reintegration Programmes, Services and Practices for Children in Conflict with the Law in Kenya’ 2021 and a Blueprint for Rehabilitation and Social Reintegration Programmes for Children in Conflict with the Law in Kenya, 2021.
“I sincerely thank the Canadian Government on behalf of the Government of Kenya for funding the project to the tune of 2, 544, 639.2 Canadian Dollars, an equivalent of Sh228, 508, 582 part of which, 222, 554.4 Canadian Dollars (approximately Sh20 million) funded the purchase of assorted vocational training equipment being commissioned today,” she added.
The CS said the project also supported, Designing Dreams Initiative in Kirigiti and Dagoretti Girls rehabilitation schools, which culminated in the high-level fashion show that took place at the United Nations Headquarters, Gigiri early this year.
Prof Kobia also thanked the National Council for the Administration of Justice (NCAJ), a special Taskforce on children matters, for its special role of promoting reforms, in particular, plea and bargaining guidelines and bail and bond, in the juvenile justice system.
“NCAJ has also worked closely with my Ministry to enhance provision of custody, care, protection and rehabilitation of children in the 30 Statutory Institutions countrywide, including 14 children remand homes, 9 rehabilitation schools, 5 rescue centres and 2 reception centres,” she said.
The CS said the government shall continue to uphold the rights of the child, adding that currently, the Children Act is being amended to be in conformity with the Constitution in order to take care of emerging issues and further protect the children.
She said the government is continuously reforming child justice system for effective rehabilitation and reintegration of child offenders, adding that provision of this modern equipment for vocational training programmes will not only empower children in SCIs to be competitive in the market, but also ensure their effective reintegration back to the community.
Prof Kobia called upon other well-wishers to consider supporting projects geared towards imparting skills to our children whether they be vocational, entrepreneurial or life skills.
By Catherine Muindi and Wilkister Akinyi