Every 10th of December the world celebrates International Human Rights Day and this year Kenya was not left behind.
African Youth Human Rights and Citizenship Development Initiative(AYHRCDI) Kenyan Chapter organised an activity to mark the day on Monday 11th, 10th December having fell on a Sunday.
Robert Ouko Omwa, AYHRCDI Kenyan coordinator joined by two other team members namely Pamela Magawi an Perez Ogoma set out early to visit Pandpieri KUAP Center and Mama Ngina Children’s Home both in Kisumu County to disseminate messages of HUMAN RIGHTS and also have a first hand experience of the children’s living standards.
It is worth noting that the above personalities also double as members of Beacon Teachers Movement, a group of teachers who safeguard the rights of child.
Backed by YHRI banner and some sweets and biscuits we entered KUAP Children Center at Pandpieri , Nyalenda Kisumu at 10am.This is a centre that host’s Children who need special care.Most of them have undergone different kinds of violence: rape, neglect etc.
After a session with the management in the office we moved to the room where the 39 children and 3 teacherswere eagerly waiting for us.We introduced ourselves, the children introduced themselves too.
We taught them about Rights and Responsibilities.They also shared their experiences in school where they feel their Right are violated often. After the enjoyable and interactive session we taught them a self awareness song.We concluded with a photo session with the YHRI banner as a backdrop.
The teacher here were so impressed, they invited us to join them on Saturday 14th December as they will be attending a talent competition.
At around noon we took a cab and headed for Mama Ngina Children’s Home, at Kibuye still in Kisumu County.After meeting the manager who briefed us of the workings around the institution we were taken round, to the kitchen, dormitory halls etc. This happened because the children were still having lunch.He informed us that presently the home has 79 children against the capacity of 60.
“This is a transition institution,” he said ,”although some stay here for a long time. ”
He even told us of success story.One of their beneficiary called Judy.She is in her 3rd year university.Studying environmental science. She has been disciplined, hard working and committed to her studies. Having been taken up from a single parent who is mentally challenged, while in class five. Each time she is on recess she comes back to the Home to help the caregivers take career of the younger children. Judy is a True heroine. We promised to have her get opportunity to give talks to other young girls who are still schooling and may think that they have a reason to be discouraged. Judy; A true success story for Mama Ngina Children’s home.
Mama Ngina Children’s home is an Oasis. This institution that gives home to children below 10 years is in the middle of the busy Kibuye market. With hustle and bustle around, the children’s home remains unscathed.Kibuye is the largest open air market in East Africa.You can imagine the kind of activity in such a place.
One of the nannies even narrated to us how teargas that were lobbed at protestors by the police during the post election riots got into the children’s home and affected the little angels. They had to be rushed to safety and ayes washed for them to reduce the effect of the smoke.
Back to today,as soon as they were through with their lunch they assembled at the main hall and we had a session with them.To our shock the children were so tiny.We had some who were a bit grown scattered amongst them.We coined our Human rights message to their level. Taught them the “private part” song, shared sweets and took photos then we had to call it a day.
“I want to go with you! ” one of little babies emotionally told Beacon Perez Ogoma at the tail end of our visit.
As he was seeing us off, the manager welcomed any form of support from any well wisher ,as he said that it’s what keeps them going.