The Children’s Department in Murang’a has rollout a two-month exercise to map out all charitable children’s homes in the county to establish their status.
The exercise which started on May 13 will run up to July 31 this year and is aimed to establish the number of existing homes and children population they are holding.
The County Children’s officer Ms Rhodah Mwikya while speaking to KNA in her office said they have noticed that some of the charitable children’s homes are operating without required documents putting lives of the children at the homes at risk.
She noted that there is no charitable home that is expected to run without valid documents saying that after mapping they will close down homes which don’t meet the required standards.
“So far we have established 17 charitable children’s home but in our records we have only 15. It seems some people are putting up children homes without following the right procedure,” added Mwikya.
She said two of the homes, one in Kigumo and another in Kangema sub counties have been shut down after managers of the homes sexually abused some children at the homes.
“At Kigumo Sub County, we have closed down Dochers Nasmu home after its manager was accused of defiling two girls. In Kangema, Rehoboth Home was also closed after the owner of the home sexually abused a 13 year old girl,” added the officer.
Managers of the two homes, Mwikya said are facing sexual offences in court and their cases are yet to be determined.
The children officer further stated that to avoid closure every charitable home must meet the Children Caring Institutions (C.C.I) standards and have a valid license issued through court.
“For every child to be accommodated in a charitable home must also be issued with right documents from our offices,” she added.
Mwikya observed that some individuals are establishing children homes and holding young ones who don’t deserve to be held at the children homes saying the move hinders the affected children chance to live and interact with their family members.
“It’s unfortunate to make children homes as a form of business and holding young ones there who don’t deserve to be accommodated in the homes. The department is doing an assessment and will reunite the affected children with their family members,” added the officer.
During the mapping period, Mwikya stated that they will not be registering new homes until the exercise is completed.
She encouraged parents to take care of their children decrying upsurge of child negligence in the county mostly occasioned by domestic violence.
“Currently we have 650 children being held by various charitable children’s homes within Murang’a County and the number is quite high,” she further observed.
By Bernard Munyao and Hilda Wambui