By Martha Sunda | Executive Director, Childline Kenya
As we approach mid-year 2023, so far, cases of more than 1,330 children who have been abused have been reported to Childline Kenya to provide therapy to the affected children and their families. Further support includes linkage to allied services including legal services, rescue and placement in temporary rescue centres and access to medical assistance. We listen to all voices connected to children, including voices of parents on behalf of their children. One such voice is this one:
“Hello…is that the child helpline?” (said a hesitating female voice)…after the counselor responded in the affirmative, the shaky voice said “I want to admit my son to the rehabilitation school …how much will it cost me? I am tired of him!” she said this as her voice trailed off. The counselor could sense the frustration of this mother. She had no more strength and had resigned herself to let go of her son albeit for a bit of peace in the home. The 14-year-old boy in question had terrorized his family for a while. He was involved in petty theft in their home and neighbourhood, was a pathological liar and was also truant. He had run away from home severally including the very recent incident when he disappeared from home for 3 days after stealing some money from his mother. He had shown up three days later without a clear indication of where he had been, in the three days he had been away. His mother desperately needed reassurance that she had not failed in her parenting but that she needed support for improved skillful parenting and consideration of access to counseling for her son who was causing her great anguish.
In a world with dwindling resources and ever changing priorities, mental health concerns are affecting whole families on an ongoing basis. Childline Kenya chooses to continue to work with partners to respond to these concerns one child at a time, one household at a time and one day at a time. With your continued support and that of other philanthropists through the GlobalGiving platform and also state & non-state actors we remain available for children and make a decision every day to provide an ear to children in distress and their families.
We appreciate all our partners for participating in ensuring positive outcomes for child survivors of abuse in Kenya continuously. We remain committed to respond to all child survivors of abuse every day.
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