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Lobby intensifies campaign against child trafficking and exploitation

Updated: Jun 13

Children rescued so far are around 300, both in Nyalenda school and Nyakach subcounty.



Homabay Governor Gladys Wanga with PRC Kenya director Charles Kupa at a past event in Homa Bay County


In Summary

  • The interventions included the establishment of rescue centres in the regions alongside intensified campaigns against the vices.

  • Lobby decried increased incidents of child exploitation and trafficking in the Nyanza region.


A lobby has intensified its campaigns against child trafficking and exploitation in Nyanza and Western Kenya regions. Project Rescue Children NGO, commonly known as PRC, is implementing intervention measures to address what it terms as increased incidents of child exploitation and trafficking in some of the counties in the two regions. PRC Kenya director Charles Kupa said the interventions included the establishment of rescue centres in the regions alongside intensified campaigns against the vices.


"We already have a functioning children's rescue centre in Nyakach, Kisumu county. This institution has helped more than 150 orphans and vulnerable children," Kupa told the Star on Thursday.


PRC - Kenya which was established in 2020 during the COVID-19 epidemic is envisioned to ensure that every child in Nyanza and Western regions is safe and free from trafficking and exploitation. Kupa said they had established a school, Arise Joy Academy in Kisumu's Nyalenda area A slum in Kisumu County to promote child education especially those rescued from the City streets.


"We are committed to educating, rescuing and protecting children from child trafficking and exploitation. We achieve this through rescue, aftercare, education and awareness," Kupa said.


He said they had since the organisation's inception continued to restore and championing the rights of every child. Kupa said apart from the school and rescue centre in Nyakach subcounty, some of the children were being supported by the organisation while under the care of their guardians. This he said was to promote child integration in the community as well as understanding family backgrounds.


"Our feeding programme among many other programmes have also helped keep children in school. We also support our beneficiaries through clothing, toys, stationery, and book donations, to name but a few," Kupa said. He said they had comprehensive guidance and counselling programmes in the project that help children grow responsibly and with hope in life. The children rescued so far are around 300, both in Nyalenda school and Nyakach subcounty.


"We constructed the school deep in the slum from scratch as an organisation. This was intended to protect the children from being prayed on by paedophiles among other things related to child abuse. We also have a school feeding programme there to keep children in school," Kupa said.


"So, we chose Nyalenda slum since we found it ideal to put up a school and enrolled children to protect them from all those things that were happening in that area at that time," Kupa said.


"The feeding programme makes children come to school daily," Kupa added.

Kupa decried increased incidents of child exploitation and trafficking in the region.

"Child trafficking and exploitation are staggering in Kisumu for instance because it's a transit point for most traffickers coming into the country from the neighbouring countries like Uganda and Tanzania as well as other cities around the Lake City," Kupa said.


He said as an organisation, they were building networks with the National Police Service and other organisations that work on child rights and protection to stop child trafficking and exploitation.


"I have personally been going around police stations in Nyanza and Western Kenya regions meeting subcounty police commanders of the respective areas. We are working on a joint partnership as we promote police departments that deal with trafficking," Kupa said.


He said they were already donating computers, stationery and furniture to the departments.

"We realised that most of the police stations were in deplorable situations and hence needed this support. They don't have the necessary equipment," Kupa said.

Kupa said their donations to the stations are on a need basis.


"We go round, look at the police station and ask them what they need to effectively discharge their duties," Kupa said. He said research they earlier conducted in Kisumu County revealed that some parents push their children to go work on the streets.


Kupa said adverse poverty among the residents was among the main factors of such kind of push by parents and guardians. He said they intend to establish a major rehabilitation centre in Kisumu City to accommodate more children rescued from the streets. He said there were hundreds of street children in Kisumu hence the need.


Kupa called on collective responsibility in matters of child rights protection.

He called on other like-minded persons to join them in their projects for the child's best interests.


"We can't support all these children without partnership with other like-minded organisations in Nyanza, Western regions and beyond," Kupa said.

Kupa said Corporate Social Responsibilities among corporates was yet to be fully capped in Kenya.


"We need big corporates like Safaricom, Equity and other banks among others to come on board and work with us in terms of alleviating stigma that stares our society in a big way," Kupa said. Kupa said some children had been so attracted to the streets that they go feed at the centres and return to the streets. He cautioned the public against shunning children on the streets maintaining that 'we should be our brothers' keepers'.


"People don't want to reach out and help. We need to be our brothers' keepers in such a way that we speak out. We have a long-term programme of holding public barazas across all counties in Nyanza and Western regions," Kupa said.


Kupa said they were already working with some of the county governments like Kisumu and Homabay to effectively execute their mandates. He, however, noted that there was competition in the NGOs world.


"Even where we bid for funds through our donors and friends, there is competition. We have challenges in terms of just getting funds for our particular projects," Kupa said.

Kupa condemned an emerging witch-hunting trend among some individuals in the NGO world, especially internationally.


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