NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 11 – The Child Welfare Society of Kenya on Thursday unveiled a nationwide public appeal aimed at uniting lost and abandoned children with their parents and guardians.
The appeal falls under the newly launched Child Tracing and Reunification programme and is seeking to reunite 126 children aged between 1 month and 11 years with their families.
Irene Mureithi the Executive Director for the society said that the programme will be conducted with the help of the 47 society branch networks in each county due to the rise in cases of child rescue from police stations, chiefs’ camps and streets.
“We want to go down to the county level and address the families to come and be re-united with their lost children. Sadly, Nairobi rates as the county with the rampant cases of child loss and in some cases parents and guardians deliberately abandon their children due to physical disabilities or financial constrains,” Mureithi said.
She said there are cases where parents have abandoned the children for financial constraints or they abandon the child because of a disability and they fear being ridiculed or traditions that dictate the child is as a result of a bad omen.
In such cases they assist the parents by getting them a job as a means of surviving or under a support programme where they are taught how to take care of children with disabilities.
She also noted that the society has been faced with various constraints when it comes to reuniting children, the major being finances as it takes a lot of money to recruit skilled care givers and provide basic amenities to the children under their care.
“Child welfare has various challenges like children who are undocumented and too young to recall their families or names thus they cannot be traced back to their families,” she added.
The tracing and reunification programme will not only reunite local families but also international ones as the incidents are on the rise.
“We are not only reuniting children in Kenya. We have some cases where children have gotten lost in foreign countries and their embassies or foreign affairs offices call on us to assist. At times we have grown up adults who were adopted in their younger years and all they know is a few details of their origin so they contact us to assist them in tracing their biological families,” Mureithi revealed.
The society asked the families who have lost children to approach them and get assistance and also asked members of the public who are interested in adoption to contact the welfare society so as to give a home to these children.