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NGO steps up efforts to combat violence against children

A Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) has teamed up with partners to end violence against women and girls in Kakamega County.

Kakamega County Widows Empowerment Project (KCWEP) supports the rights of widowed women, those living with disabilities, and girls and aims at ending violence against Children (VAC).

The organisation is implementing a project dubbed ‘Together Empowering Society to Eliminate Abuse of Women and Children’ (TETEA) in partnership with the International Society for the Development of People (CISP).

The Project is funded by the European Union and implemented by KCWEP, CISP, and a consortium of other partners working in Kakamega County.

In the project, the partners have established Child Rights Clubs (CRCs) in schools where children are taught about their rights.

They are also encouraged to communicate if they are undergoing any form of torture, abuse, or mistreatment at any place, whether at school, at home, or in any environment they live in.

The partners have installed ‘talk boxes’ for use by children to communicate whatever issues they were going through but were afraid to communicate orally to a teacher or any person for help.

In the talk box, which is sealed, a pupil will write a concern on a piece of paper and drop it inside.

The talk box will then be opened every month by a committee that comprises the Directorate of Children Services, Child Rights’ Patrons, head teachers, Parents Association (PA) representatives, and representatives from the TETEA Project.

“So these committees will ensure that every month they walk into the schools we are working with to ensure that they open those talk boxes and ensure that they work on those cases reported in those talk boxes,” said KCWEP Director Gerry Mwanzi.

He noted that the project is meant to provide a proper channel of communication for children who may be undergoing abuse and suffering in silence.

“We are doing this to ensure we have a proper transition when it comes to handling issues of children because we know so many children are suffering in silence, and the only way we can assist them is to give them assurance that whatever they are communicating can be handled professionally,” he said.

“At the same time, proper procedures are put in place to ensure that if there is any violence against children that has occurred, relevant authorities can take charge to ensure that justice prevails,” he added.

By George Kaiga

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