An Anglican bishop has called on Kenyans to invest in a holistic child development for the country to have responsible citizens in future.
Right Reverend John Mark Haung Godia of the diocese of Maseno West said there was need for parents to embrace nurture and care of their children right from conception, adding that research has shown this helps to improve child survival.
The prelate was speaking at Ralak primary school grounds in Ugenya Sub County during the launch of an early Child development programme by the Anglican Development Services. The program, dubbed ‘Moments that matter- the first 1000 days in the life of a child” aims at encouraging full participation of both the mother and father in raising up the children right from pregnancy.
Bishop Godia said research had shown that the society that invests in the good care of the children reaps the benefits of a disciplined society. “We all know that children are a big treasure and anybody who invests in the good care of a child eventually reaps good benefits of a disciplined and focused adult,” said the bishop who had earlier presided over the launch of a similar event at Ng’iya health centre in Alego / Usonga.
The Maseno West ACK bishop said the church will continue partnering with the government and other stakeholders to ensure a holistic child development adding the needs of a child are not just physical or medical hence the role of the church and other religious bodies in ensuring proper upbringing.
As schools prepare to open in January, Bishop Godia called on parents to ensure they offered their children proper guidance during the Christmas festivities. “It is our prayer that parents will take care of their children, guide them properly and prepare them to go back to school after being out for a long period,” he said.
During the launch, Bishop Godia presented 70 bicycles and healthcare packs to Early childhood promoters who will go round the program areas in Ugenya and Alego / Usonga to monitor child growth.
A program officer at the ADS Nyanza, Ms. Conslate Sijeyo said the ECD programme will focus on male care giving with the aim of demystifying the myth that child care belongs to women.
“We will be focusing on male care giving. There is this misconception that child care belongs to the woman which is not the case. All must be involved,” said Sijeyo.
By Philip Onyango