By Soloman Kiterie,
I was able through the GMC funding to hold a radio talk show and a one-week jingle on bk Radio 99.3 FM.
Mr. Ambrose Nguti, a children protection officer was invited to make a presentation which he did focusing on issues affecting our children, especially during the summer holidays. He pointed out a lack of responsibility to safeguard children from parents, retrogressive cultural practices, increased poverty levels, and ignorance of child protection laws as some of the issues faced.
The project was very successful considering the articulate issues addressed and the engagement of the listeners. The project reached an estimated 350,000 people from Bungoma and Trans Nzoia counties and Eastern Uganda, especially the Sabaot and Sebei communities.
During this period, there was a heightened campaign for general elections and hence making it hard for me to implement the activity. The mood of the audience was very much into politics, with the presidential election and the follow-up petition also making it hard for my guest to attend the talk show.
What was discussed?
- Children should be taken to school regardless of their gender. Girls are usually forced to drop out of school to get married to fetch wealth for their families. It is time the community stopped looking at girls as material means to getting wealth, and take them to school to realise their full potential.
- Any form of child abuse is punishable by law. Parents should therefore take their parental responsibilities and provide for their children’s basic needs; health, clothing, shelter, education, and protection from harmful practices such as FGM and child marriage. No child should be engaged in child labour or child prostitution to get food, shelter, clothing, or school fees.
The children officer pledged to partner with us for continuous sensitization of our community on the rights of children
I would invite a judicial officer to highlight the offenses of the children-related matter that have been successfully prosecuted or are active in court to just show that the government will not shy away from arresting those who violate the rights of the children.