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The article by Afua Twum-Danso, accurately reflects what is happening to children all over Africa. Here in Kenya, the Children's Act 2000 captures the ideals set by CRC - including the four key pillars of non-discrimination, best interest of child, survival and development, and the right to be heard and listened to - and yet this has not brought an end to the suffering of the majority of our children. Every day in our city streets, we meet street children and the children's department does not take a proactive role to put them into safe protective custody. In our schools, we have evidence of school dropouts, yet our Education Ministry does nothing about it. In our homes, we employ child domestic workers and pay them peanuts. Some times we assault, abuse and subject them to physical, emotional and mental trauma. When it becomes too much, some well-meaning estate mamas will organize rescue missions for these children in the full glare of the mass media, but that is as far as public awareness of the matter goes. We cannot be sure that these perpetrators see the light of day in a courtroom. We 'the people’ have set OVCs adrift in a sea of adversity; we view them as ‘other peoples concerns’. These ‘other people’ could be their aged grandparents or impoverished relatives or civil society. These are people who operate on shoestring budgets, barely enough to sustain themselves, let alone additional mouths. In research done in Kenya, South Africa and Uganda by Human Rights Watch, it is observed that ‘governments are content to let the poor help the poor rather than assuming responsibility for children whose families had been decimated by HIV/Aids’.

According to WHO, the term health is defined to mean, 'complete physical, psychological and mental well being and not merely absence of disease and infirmity.' Bearing this in mind, we must realize that children need holistic nurturing so that their physical, social and cultural rights can be optimized. We fail them immensely when we ignore this.

Most African countries have failed to initiate social legal measures to protect and promote the rights of the child as enunciated in the Riyadh Guidelines, Beijing Rules and UN Rules For The Protection Of Juveniles Deprived Of Their Liberty.

I long for the day that all government ministries, departments and institutions will come together and adopt a child focused approach in their policies and activities -it will make the live of our children that much easier. We must all endeavour to heed our first lady, Lucy Kibaki’s rallying call to treat all children equally and to give them tender loving care in our homes, families and communities. We must open up our hearts, homes and hearths to children because who knows, tomorrow, it could by your child who needs a stranger to open a door and an arm for him/her.