The Directorate of Children’s Services in Murang’a county, yesterday, led children who were chosen as delegates from sub-counties across the county in the first County’s Children’s Assembly at a Murang’a school.
Murang’a East Children’s Officer, Nanis Mutegi, said that the Kenya Children’s Assembly (KCA) initiative which was previously being held at the sub-counties was now at county level and noted that involving children in matters that concern them gives them a voice and it is crucial in formulation of policies.
“KCA is a platform where children are given an opportunity to come together and discuss matters affecting them and deliberate on possible interventions by the government,” Mutegi said,
“From these deliberations the children help shape the decision making processes and the government policies regarding their welfare,” she added
The representatives who were drawn from the nine sub-counties of Murang’a county congregated and discussed many issues affecting them as children in their various localities.
One of the children noted that some of the most common challenges children are presently facing is neglect and abuse by parents and caregivers as a result of alcohol and drug abuse.
The delegates had varied opinions on the right course of action in such cases with some saying the children officials should prioritize removing the child from the unsafe environment while others argued that the problems should be solved by offering counselling and rehabilitation to the parents and caregivers.
Other challenges that the children discussed include walking long distances to access healthcare services and education with the children adding that they also need better equipped hospitals and schools so that they can access quality services.
The 45 delegates who were between the ages of 11 to 16 years elected their county representatives who will hold various offices over the next two years.
The children were also taught a number of life skills such as self-awareness, effective communication and stress management.
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