Mombasa County Children’s Officer Philip Nzenge has called on parents and teachers to invest in children for the country to have a responsible future generation.
Speaking at Mwakirunge primary school in Mombasa during the international day of the girl child, Nzenge said if concerted efforts were not put in place to protect children, then we risk losing the biggest chunk of the next generation to drugs, illiteracy and diseases.
“Children are our future heritage. If we don’t invest to save them, then we risk losing them to all the pitfalls of life,” he said.
The children’s officer warned parents, teachers and other stakeholders that if left on their own, children are likely to be spoilt by drug peddlers in the streets or boda boda operators among other negative influencers in the society.
For instance, boda boda riders are notorious for offering free gifts and rides to young girls before impregnating them at tender ages, he added.
Nzenge called for framework where men would protect women and boys protect girls, contrary to the current situation where they victimize each other.
He advised children to respect their parents and embrace education as their sole mission, so as to compete favourably in the job market after school.
The children’s officer specifically emphasized on the need to educate girls, saying that educating a girl amounted to educating an entire community as it had been proved in developed economies.
On the other hand, Nzenge urged men to be role models to young boys and help bring up responsible men who respect and protect girls as their own sisters.
In the same forum, Mwakirunge ward representative Ms. Feddis Mbura called on families to help girls who lack basic necessities like sanitary pads during their menstrual periods, instead of leaving them to borrow the same from strangers, who in return demand sexual favors, thus contributing to increased underage pregnancies.
Mbura called on fathers to discard the notion that buying sanitary pads was the sole duty of the mother.
She said girls have been left alone to search for the pads in order for them to attend schools like boys without the shame of spotting their clothes, which lead to school dropouts.
Speaking at the same function, a professional footballer Elvinah Kahindi urged girls to take up opportunities in different sports, which were traditionally preserved for men.
The 22 years old soccer player from Ganze in Kilifi County, said through sports she had traveled around the globe to exploit her talent.
Kahindi urged girls to work hard in school to enable them assume leadership roles in the society, a privilege that only comes with good education.
By Joseph Kamolo