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 Prevention and Protection Against Child Abuse and Neglect

 

Child abuse is a clear and present danger plaguing Africa.

Child abuse can be described as physical maltreatment of the child and the denial of the child's rights.

In Africa, acts of child abuse are usually committed in polygamous homes as well as in extended family settings where children who have lost either or both parents are left in the care of distant relatives or guardians and step-parents who treat them as if they are animals.

Amsha Africa Foundation is pooling its resources and joining forces with our partners in an effort to stop child abuse and neglect and educate communities in Kenya.

  Despite the enactment of Children’s Act 2001 by the Kenyan government, cases of child abuse in the country are still rampant due to lack of effective implementation of the legislation.

Child protection measures in Kenya are currently not implemented effectively and fully. Compliance with such legislation would increase if the magnitude of the problem and better knowledge about the factors that put children at risk was available.

The Children’s Act has immensely improved the lives of many Kenyan children plagued with high illiteracy levels, frequent rape cases and child labor since it guarantees children the right to health and medical care, provision of which is the responsibility of the parents, the extended family and the government.

Nonetheless, there are still a number of problems to surmount. Kenya’s severe economic and social difficulties have prevented the full realization of children’s rights and there is concern over the inadequate enforcement of legislation to ensure the "physical and mental integrity" of all children.

Rights and advocacy groups are alarmed about the physical and sexual abuse of Kenyan children, including commercial sexual exploitation; the increasing burden of HIV/Aids on orphans that prematurely forces them into adult roles; continuing incidences of FGM; and the inadequate access to education, especially for girls.

In the meantime, a combination of economic and social factors is forcing more and more children to continue pouring into the streets throughout the country. Eighty percent of children appearing before the juvenile court are street children with some arrested for committing crimes, and some taken in to be ‘processed’ by the care and protection system.

Legal representation of children is rare, and there is currently no state-paid legal aid system. Legal aid to children who cannot afford lawyers is yet to be structured with clear provisions on how it will be funded.

Child labor - which is directly linked to poverty - is among the major drawbacks. It has prevented children from developing their potential to earn higher incomes later in life, and will slacken national economic growth in the long term.

There are an estimated three to four million child laborers in Kenya, many whom work in hard conditions, negatively affecting their health, education and development. In some sectors of the Kenyan economy, children comprise 70 percent of the labor force, many working in violation of national and international laws.

Amsha Africa Foundation has streamlined our focus on child abuse into these areas.

  • Support children who are forced to work for their survival.
  • Work with schools in Income Generating Activities to support children under situations that would lead to neglect and drop outs.
  • Help create child protection teams within rural communities.
  • Help create an organization of lawyers that offer free legal services to children whose rights have been violated
  • Create alliances between government departments and other groups at community level to address child labor.
  • Participate in research activities on children's right, such as street children.

Child Labor:

The program avails appropriate development models for combating child labur in Kenya.

The program aims at involving communities in prevention of child labor and withdrawing children from work.

Child Participation:

It seeks to build the capacity of young persons as advocates for protection of rights of orphans and other vulnerable children in  Kenya. It is a direct and practical approach to attaining child rights. By its very nature, children themselves are trained to advocate for their rights as opposed to waiting for the rights to be realized for them by others.

Promoting the Right of the Child to be protected from Violence:

This project contributes to stopping of all forms of violence against children in Kenya.Child Abuse victim in Kenya

The program works to enhance knowledge and the capacity of various actors  to respond to and minimize the occurrence of violence against children, and to strengthen their operational capacity for effective advocacy and execution of laws against violence on children. The violence against children project contributes to stopping of all forms of violence against children. The program works to enhance knowledge and the capacity of various actors and strengthens their operational capacity for effective advocacy and execution of laws against violence on children.

Foster Care:

The Foster care program encourages and facilitates foster carers to look after children in need. It identifies vulnerable children and thereafter assesses, trains and supports foster homes to take in the children, treating them as if they were their own by promoting their well-being.

Anti-Child Trafficking:

This project works to minimize and eventually eliminate child trafficking. It undertakes action-oriented studies on child trafficking, increase the level of awareness of child trafficking among different groups, builds the capacity of key actors, develops and enhance networks and alliances to effectively contribute to the fight against child trafficking

Program Long-Term Success:

Amsha Africa Foundation will deem this program successful in the long term after accomplishing the following:

  • Successfully supporting at least 100 children who are forced to work for their survival.
  • Work with at least 20 schools in Income Generating Activities to support children under situations that would lead to neglect and drop outs.
  • Create child protection teams within rural communities in all the provinces in Kenya.
  • Offer free legal services to at least 100 children whose rights have been violated through our organization of pro-bono lawyers.

Program Short-Term Success:

Below are some of our short-term success measurements for this program:

  • Involve communities in prevention of child labor and withdrawing children from work. Involving even one community to participate will be deemed a short-term success.
  • Build the capacity of young persons as advocates for protection of rights of orphans and other vulnerable children in  Kenya. It is a direct and practical approach to attaining child rights. By its very nature, children themselves are trained to advocate for their rights as opposed to waiting for the rights to be realized for them by others.
  • Work to enhance knowledge and the capacity of various actors and strengthens their operational capacity for effective advocacy and execution of laws against violence on children.
  • Work to minimize and eventually eliminate child trafficking. This program undertakes action-oriented studies on child trafficking, increase the level of awareness of child trafficking among different groups, builds the capacity of key actors, develops and enhance networks and alliances to effectively contribute to the fight against child trafficking.
  • Identify vulnerable children and thereafter assess, train and support foster homes to take in the children, treating them as if they were their own by promoting their well-being.

Program Success Monitored by:

Amsha Africa Foundation is going to monitor the success of this program using the following methods:

  • Take surveys of foster homes to see how children are being treated.
  • Work with schools and local authorities to access the Income Generating Activities that Amsha Africa Foundation has started to measure the success of the children participating.
  • Monitor reports by the child protection teams created within rural communities to see if there are any improvements or additional help that can be provided.
  • Monitor monthly reports from the organization of lawyers that offer free legal services to children to see if the program is successful.
  • Participate in research activities on children's right and interview children in the program to monitor the success of the program.

Program Success Examples:

  • Amsha Africa Foundation has created an organization of  20 lawyers that offer free legal services to children whose rights have been violated in Kenya. These lawyers have successfully provided free legal services on 42 cases and have 120 cases that are being worked on.
  • Amsha Africa Foundation has worked with over 12 community based groups and helped create child protection teams within rural communities. These child protection teams have helped reduce child in some rural communities by over 95% according to our surveys.
  • The Foster care program has encouraged and facilitates foster carers to look after children in need. There are currently 6 foster cares that AAF has helped form and the success of the children taken in these foster homes has grown exponentially from their previous abusive homes.

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For online banking systems in the USA, select the "Bill Pay" option and use the following details. You can also use the details below to make a wire transfer/ACH.

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