Community engagement sessions formulating the anticipated Marsabit County Child Protection Policy

By May Joy Namulembwa

Our community engagement forums in Marsabit County under our Watoto Wetu Project continue to be part of a process that shall form the anticipated Marsabit County all-inclusive Child Protection Policy.

So far, EACHRights together with facilitation support from MIO-NET team has engaged with local youth, elders, community leaders, parents and citizens in Marsabit county from sub-counties of;

  1. Kalacha
  2. North Horr
  3. Sololo
  4. Moyale
  5. Saku
  6. Laisamis
  7. Loglogo
  8. Maikona

We began the process of drafting the policy by educating the community and collecting their views and recommendation regarding child rights issues and violations in the different sub-counties within Marsabit in September 2018. Further, our most recent forums were in Loglogo and Maikona on September 18 and 20, 2019, respectively.

Our analysis confirms that key rampant issues facing local children emanate from social and cultural beliefs and practices. Some of the most common practices include child labour, child marriage, female genital mutilation (FGM), juvenile delinquency, among others. With no rescue centres and children’s courts available, these practices and more continue to destroy the future of most children who should be living their best life and discovering their abilities and potential.

Loglogo sub-county community engagement forum. Photos: May Joy Namulembwa. [foogallery id=”2080″]

Mr Simeon Ogao of DCS Marsabit facilitated the sessions in Loglogo and Maikona. They involved taking the community through basic child rights issues and the importance of the policy in Marsabit County’s planning process for its children in the County Integrated Development Plan (CIDP) – a plan prepared by all counties to guide development over a five-year period. Since children are our priority and future of any society, we want to see their agenda at the top of development priorities that inform the annual budget process. It is for this reason and protection of the rights of children in pastoralist counties of Marsabit, Garissa and Kajiado that we press on with the work we do under Watoto Wetu Project.

Additionally, the community was divided into four groups where members tackled different issues facing children in their localities, including presenting recommendations for the same.

Maikona community engagement forum. Photos: May Joy Namulembwa. [foogallery id=”2090″]

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