Kenya: Meet Policeman Out to Make a Difference

While most Kenyans have a negative image of and often fear and loathe law enforcers, one police officer is trying to change all that.

Mr Justus Njeru, who is attached to the Huruma Police Station in Nairobi, has proven that the men and women in blue, too, have a human side, and aside from their official duties, they willingly help and support their communities.

Over the weekend, Mr Njeru opted to take a portion of his salary to support 50 families in high-density Mathare and Huruma areas.

Skip meals

His donations included two weeks' supply of maize meal, face masks and soap for hand washing.

Families in low-income areas have been hard-hit by the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, with many in estates such as Huruma and Mathare losing their jobs and livelihoods.

As a result, many have been forced to skip meals or even to go hungry altogether.

Speaking to the Nation, Mr Njeru said that, seeing the lives of hundreds of families, particularly the youth, affected by the pandemic in his area, moved him to do something small.

He noted that a significant amount of violence witnessed in some homes and in society, in general, was directly linked to families' inability to afford food.

"Many of the residents here are my friends and they often come to me when they are in need, including moments such as these when they have nothing to eat.

"I try my best to sacrifice the little I have and support the first 50 families who are in dire need," he said.

Mr Njeru expresses concern that if quick interventions are not made to support such families, there will be a further spike in vices such as gender-based violence, teenage pregnancies and crime, in general.

He notes victims of these vices are young men and women.

Domestic violence

"Since the pandemic began, there have been numerous cases of domestic violence, teenage pregnancies and crime here in Mathare and even in Huruma," he said.

In April, the National Council on the Administration of Justice reported that there had been a significant spike in sexual offences across the country, with more people reporting cases such as rape and domestic-based violence.

Similarly, reports of teenage pregnancies have been reported across various counties, with data indicating a spike has been witnessed in the past couple of months starting from March.

The worrying trend has been linked to Covid-19, with authorities expressing fear that it might be the start of a larger crisis.

However, Mr Njeru believes that with the necessary support and mentorship, the youth may be saved. He notes that through his weekly mentorship series, he has been able to channel the energies of some of the youth to good use.

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