Dignified Children Blog
A Safe & Secure Home: A basic right for every child
Whether home is a traditional hut or ‘enkaji’ in a remote village or a modern townhouse in a large city like Nairobi or Mombasa, every child in Kenya has the right to a safe and happy home. But for a growing number of children across the country, this dream now seems further away than ever before. With the pandemic restricting movement and driving more families into extreme poverty, the rates of domestic violence and hunger have gone through the roof. This has left tens of thousands of fearful children living in volatile domestic environments with nowhere to turn!
Throughout the first few months of lockdown, the rate of domestic violence against women and young children jumped by 34% with an even bigger increase in calls to helplines. When public health measures closed schools, almost 18 million children were confined to the place they call home. But more than half from poorer backgrounds were effectively abandoned and left isolated to suffer in silence. They have faced psychological abuse, physical violence, gender-based violence and exploitation all while living without access to proper sanitation or even running water. In the capital Nairobi physical abuse has even extended outside of the home. According to the Centre for Global Development, this has increased by a shocking 24% since December of last year. Fast forward to now and the devastating impact of the pandemic has started to become apparent.
More than 531,000 children under 5 years old are living in homes suffering from acute malnutrition with 147,000 requiring emergency help. Additionally, more than 53% of children across the country are now living in homes where multi-dimensional is a daily reality. And when it comes to their healthcare needs as many as 400,000 children need urgent interventions for a range of physical and psychological related abuse. With so many children in dire need, our dedicated team has been responding to the calls for help.
Through our community projects and gender-based violence programme we have created a safe space for the most at-risk children. Here they have been able to get respite from their extremely stressful home environments as well as benefiting from professional counselling. In addition to this, our team has delivered face-masks, soap, hand-washing containers and food aid to the most needy homes over the last year. But as the numbers of children living in unsafe and unsuitable home environments exponentially increases by the week, it is clear that we have so much more work left to do!
Find out how you can help here.