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Partners launch programme to protect children against violence

The International Committee for the Development of People (CISP) has launched Tetea project funded by the European Union to protect women and children against violence in Kakamega County.

The Project will be implemented by CISP in partnership with a local Non-Governmental Organization, Kakamega County Widows Empowerment Project (KCWEP) and Men Engage Kenya Network (MENKEN).

The three-year project seeks to reduce cases of teenage pregnancies and protect children and women against Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) in Shinyalu and Malava Sub Counties of Kakamega County.

The Programme Officer for CISP Ms. Esther Waduu said a rapid assessment that was done by the organization together with data obtained from the department of children services showed that Malava and Shinyalu sub counties are leading in child abuse cases, SGBV, teenage mothers, teenage pregnancies and early marriages.

The project will be implemented through Community dialogues with communities undergoing training for 13 weeks after which they will make a public declaration on how they will protect children and women.

Partners will also establish Child rights clubs in schools in collaboration with the Ministry of Education to empower children to understand their rights to easily report or seek help when abused.

“We shall not leave survivors behind, because there are those already with children and others with pregnancies; for them, we shall establish groups to ensure they are supported and also avail dignity kits so that we make sure we link them up to go back to school and others taken to vocational schools to support themselves and those children they have,” she added.

In strengthening the systems for survivors to get better services, partners in the project will capacity build stakeholders and coordinate them in order to ensure the cases are handled effectively.

KCWEP, which works with widows, will be involved in bringing on board female headed households in the targeted project implementation regions to stand firm and take care of their families.

The Director of KCWEP Mwanzi Jerry said female-headed households are easily targeted by perpetrators of sexual violence for lack of a father figure.

“We want them to understand that as female-headed households, their children also go through abuse because, if a family is vulnerable and can hardly provide for their basic needs, you see that men who are first priority perpetrators, take advantage of those children. So we are sensitizing the women to take their position as a female headed household to ensure that they reduce cases of gender based violence,” he added.

Men will also be involved during the project to be champions to defend the rights of women and children and also to protect them against any form of abuse.

According to Amos Simpano from Men Engage Kenya Network (MENKEN), the organization will look at the policies and adapt them to capacity build men to fight GBV cases.

“We believe that as men, we are leaders in the family and the culture gives us the highest position and we believe that when men decide to defend the rights of women and children it will be easier to address the problem,” he noted.

By Moses Wekesa and Kenton Illa

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