17 June 2008

Kenya: Give Priority to the Homeless Children

Nairobi — Kenya's Children Parliament held its 5th session in Nairobi on Monday with calls on the Government to prioritise the needs of children displaced in the post-election violence.

Children from various schools were at the Old Chambers of Parliament the whole day and discussed various issues affecting the Kenyan child. The parliamentary session was held as Kenya joined the rest of the continent in marking the day of the African Child.

Apart from the effects of the post-election violence on minors, the Children's Parliament also discussed the country's leadership, the education system, poverty and child abuse and neglect.

Questions were raised about exact measures being taken by the Government to care for children who were displaced with focus on those who lost parents. The children debated how they, too, could assist the victims.

The session kicked off at 11am with the Speaker's procession making its way into the Old Chambers. The children held prayers before the Speaker and members of the Children's Cabinet made speeches.

Junior's Speaker Elsie Njeri Ng'ang'a, adorned in a Maasai attire, urged leaders and Kenyans to fully embrace the traditional African attire as a way of showing pride in their traditional roots.

She told those in leadership positions to mentor children and prepare them for future leadership roles.

Ms Ng'ang'a added that children should have been actively involved in the preparation of Vision 2030 as it directly affected them.


Prime Minister Otieno Ogwen said the world should depict the African child more positively other than abuse, poverty and neglect.

"We should give the world the other side of the coin and show the positive picture about the African child," he said.

He blamed the education system for most problems affecting the child since little focus was put on the family and value system.

"Emphasis is put on sciences while we live in families that we barely understand. The family fibre has been broken down," he lamented.

Former president of the Children's Cabinet Moses Mwangi Mukami called for diligence and commitment by their cabinet.

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