Violence. Death. Injustice.
Child protection is a key strand of our work. We identify children at risk of abuse, neglect, exploitation and suffering, and we try to do whatever it takes to protect them. We work to ensure the children we work with grow up in a safe, supportive family environment. Unfortunately, there are so many children all around the world that are still without that hope.
We have set up a programme within The KCP, whereby our Social Care Team strive to help the families and the children within their communities; preventing where possible, children from being taken into institutes but cared for and supported from home.
The programme involves our team of life changers working hand in hand with the individual families to see transformation. The help provided is often practical and can involve our team rolling up their sleeves and showing the families how to clear up and make their homes a place that is liveable and sanitary. Our team identifies the areas for improvement and change within each home and they work with the family to show achievable goals. Our team helps provide the families with routine. They start with teaching the guardians how to get their children up and fed in the morning, how to prepare meals and how to put children to bed. Many families have never been educated on the basic needs of family life, and so it is important for our Social Workers to teach day-to-day skills like cooking, hygiene and daily routines.
The objective is always helping families learn to do things themselves, and our team is clear on the need to not slip into doing things for families. As families achieve a milestone and the programme goes on, our team encourages and praises the family to build up their self-esteem and build confidence and unity.
No matter how much we do to ensure that each family has a better quality of life and however much we have done to protect the children from any form of suffering, sometimes it is clear that your help is just not enough.
Together, with our amazing team, we go to great lengths to try to understand the real circumstances of which each family face day to day. We gather as much information about each family, we observe and we assess. A key component of effective family intervention is therefore looking at the family from inside out rather than outside in.
Being faced day in - day out with family dysfunction, violence, poor parenting and neglect is intellectually, physically and emotionally demanding. This week we have been asking a question that we regularly don’t allow our minds to wander to, ‘how did things end up this way?’ One of the children we have been working with over the past 16 months has passed away this week. She was only 15 years old. Three words that regularly keep circling my head this week... Violence. Death. Injustice. Why is this world full of these three words?
Ultimately, there was nothing we could do to prevent or stop this child from dying, yet we know that if this child was born in the UK, she would still be alive. The circumstances concerning her death are a harsh reminder that there are some things we simply cannot change and there are certainly things we will never understand. I am not afraid to raise my voice for honesty and truth and compassion against injustice. I don’t want to take the side of the oppressor by being neutral in situations of injustice. This week, I feel powerless. I feel like we have seen huge injustice in this family.
I’m proud of our team at The Kenyan Children's Project and for all they do to see lives changed for the better. I’m inspired by the people we do life with, as they relentlessly care and love the individuals around us. This week we had a challenge that we are determined will not stop us. As our team of life changers spend time with this child’s mourning family this week, we are standing tall once more. We are more eager to see vulnerable lives here have equal rights. We refuse to give up but we feel we have to be real with our emotions and the hardships we face here. Please stand with us in prayer and partner with us as we seek to do anything we can to change and hope restored in as many vulnerable children, one life at a time.