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ChildFund: Preventing GBV in Children is a Joint Responsibility


Child Protection is a communal obligation, as Parents/Guardians, Governments, Organisations, Societies, Businesses, and Children themselves are all essential stakeholders.


Denying a child their right to enjoy protection and safety as stipulated in the United Nations Convention on the rights of the child, which is to provide children with the rights to protection, participation, development, and proper nurturing is the definition of child rights violation.

Protect the Children
Boys and girls attend a child-rights club meeting under the shade of a tree as part of ChildFund’s Jukumu Letu Child Protection project in Tharaka-Nithi County, Kenya. Here, students learn how to combat child abuse and harmful practices like FGM and early marriage in their community.

Switch Media got the opportunity to speak with Eunice Kilundo, the Child Protection and Advocacy Manager from ChildFund Kenya as she delved into Child Abuse in detail.

“Anything that can lead to a child being deprived an opportunity to enjoy their rights, like a child being denied food and access to care, and left to experience physical, psychological abuse, or is subjected to any kind of harm, or in some instances, when children are brought from the countryside to work in the urban city for their parents to get money, it’s child abuse,” Kilundo noted.

Gender-Based Violence is the epitome of child abuse as most assaults are gender-based with girls experiencing sexual violence at an alarmingly high rate in Kenya.

“What we know is that in every country around the world children are abused sexually, particularly girls, they experience sexual violence at an unacceptable rate in Kenya. The 2019 Violence Against Children analysis found that 16% of girls and 6% of boys experience sexual violence before the age of 18,” Eunice said.

“It also showed that violence is commonly perpetrated by parents and caregivers” She added.

The Child Protection and Advocacy manager said Covid-19 had especially led to the escalation of GBV acts against children, and this was escalated by the economic disruptions at the family level, as most families experienced anxiety and relationship stresses.

“The Covid restrictions and measures brought about limited mobility and social isolation that increased time at home where potential abusers are, so unmindful parents would impact children with their stress,” she observed.

Eunice believes one of the primary solutions is for parents to adopt better ways of solving domestic disagreements without involving children, as it was one of the major issues when it came to Child Protection.

protecting Children
Boys and girls attend a child-rights club meeting under the shade of a tree as part of ChildFund’s Jukumu Letu Child Protection project in Tharaka-Nithi County, Kenya. Here, students learn how to combat child abuse and harmful practices like FGM and early marriage in their community.

She also called on the government and other organizations geared towards Child Protection, to provide necessary resources such as funds for the child protection sector, as they depend on aid to ensure projects are successful.

“The government needs to provide resources for child protection sectors since this sector is grossly underfunded. There has not been a budgetary location to help us make strides in terms of protecting our children.

“Government also needs to cascade Child Protection Services at the community level, for example, the Nyumba Kumi initiative,” Kilundo noted.

“Child fund helps in combating child marriage and FGM. We promote surveillance at the community level where these community child protection champions facilitate the rescue of girls from early child marriage and FGM,


“We have constructed a hundred-bed rescue facility. working together with the Department of Children Services where we seek support from the government.
She urged parents and the community as well to participate in this initiative, ensuring the protection of children from any form of abuse.

“It would be a very good idea if the members of Nyumba Kumi could take the frontline in terms of protecting children and understanding that child protection is the role of society.

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“By promoting and appreciating individual collective responsibility, protecting children from abuse becomes a communal role, by taking it upon yourself as a responsibility and also sharing with others how important it is, because if violence happens children remain unprotected,” Kilundo noted.

“Parents need to understand the needs of children, especially by listening to them. Parents listen to their children, cause that’s how we get to know their needs. She added.
CPF representative also added that Children too should actively participate in ensuring their safety, by opening up to those they can trust and speaking up about the atrocities they might be facing in silence.

How ChildFund Kenya addresses cases of GBV in children

ChildFund Kenya strengthens the community based Child protection mechanisms, and towards that end, work closely with the Directorate of Children Services that has been training and working with community based Child protection Champions to create awareness at community level on the role of community and families  in protecting children in general and particularly appreciating the value of  supporting girls to actualize their potential through  enabling them equal opportunities with boys.

“We have done this in areas prone to Child marriage and FGM to promote surveillance at community level as well as facilitating rescue of girls from these vices through  supporting government in construction of rescue facilities.

“We have constructed a 100 bed rescue center in Tharaka, and funds allowing we intend to support the govt. in doing this in other parts affected by FGM and Child marriage these are facilities that provide short time support  to girls as we support creating a supportive environment at community level)

“By engaging men in ending FGM, as we discourage them from marrying cut girls, for instance in Kajiado.

ChildFund also intervene against online sexual exploitation and abuse of children- implementing a 3 year grant in Nairobi Kiambu and coast

“By empowering the Household economy, through projects like Improving farming technologies.

“Supporting ministry of education to develop the positive discipline manual aimed at helping teachers to utilize positive ways in instilling discipline in children

“Childfund also implementis the  School based violence prevention model”.Kilundo noted.

Advocacy  such as through Joining Forces for government to improve budget allocation to the children sector to improve provision of protection services so that children can access the full range of their rights according to the UNCRC

  Participated in Advocacy for the enactment of the children’s Bill- done this year

Supporting strengthening of the CP formal system through formulation of policies and guidelines to ensure an effective social workforce.

Efforts made by CF Kenya to eliminate GBV in Children?

Mobilizing the community to understand the rights of children and their role in protecting them

Promotion of peaceful conflict resolution at the home front, as well as eliminating factors that predispose children to falling victim to GBV such as poverty and retrogressive cultural practices.

Read Also: Rape Culture is the Main Source of GBV


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