The World Vision Organization has trained 30 young people in Narok County, who will act as role models in advocating for the rights of children in the pastoralist’s community.
The youngsters dubbed Citizen Voice and Action (CVA), will be facilitated by the Organization, to move from village to village, sensitizing the residents on importance of protecting their children from all forms of danger and ensuring the children get basic needs.
Speaking during a community dialogue at Koseka village in Naroosura Ward, Narok South Sub-county, Ms. Dolphine Kwamboka of World Vision reminded the residents that all children had a right to education and parents, who failed to take their children to school would be arrested and prosecuted in court of law.
“The government wants all parents to take their children to school so that they can be empowered to become professionals in future. That is why we have free primary education in all public schools in the country,” she said.
Ms. Maureen Nashipae, one of the youths trained, said the major challenge the children in Narok County were facing is Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), forced early marriages and moranism that compromised their academics.
She asked the children in her community not to accept to be lured to the retrogressive cultural practices that do not benefit them, but instead concentrate in their education so as to gain knowledge.
“We urge our fellow girls to say a big ‘NO’ to FGM and early marriages. If your parents force you into the act, please run to the nearest church, chief or police station and inform them of the intended action. Please do not keep quiet and suffer alone because we are all here to help you,” said Ms. Nashipae.
The members of the community present in the meeting lauded World Vision for coming up with programs to help children in the community.
Mzee William Nchoe said the major challenge in the society was poverty and illiteracy that made many parents marry off their girls at a tender age in exchange of cheap dowry.
“We plead with you to remain in this area so that you can help us eradicate this cultural practice of FGM, and help us educate our fellow people the danger of FGM,” he added.
According to statistics from the Department of Education, over 94 per cent of candidates who sat for the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) in Narok County have transited to secondary schools and vocational training centers.
By Ann Salaton and Candy Gudda