WORLD ORPHANS DAY

Kenyans should embrace donating in good taste

When donating clothes, for instance, don't give worn out clothes. The receivers should be treated with dignity.

In Summary

• It is estimated there are over three million orphans in the country, 47 per cent orphaned as a result of HIV-Aids and many more remain vulnerable

• The statistics surrounding the rising population and the immense suffering of these children can be overwhelming

Children at World Orphans Day celebrations
PLEA FOR SUPPORT: Children at World Orphans Day celebrations
Image: FILE

Each year, Kenya joins the rest of the world in marking World Orphans Day, which is marked on May 7 every year.

The intentions behind this day is to appeal for global solutions to the plight of orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) by focusing public and media attention on social and economic exclusion of the OVC; lobbying governments, development partners and other stakeholders to take urgent measures to reintegrate the orphans and vulnerable children into the care and support systems society.

In Kenya, the situation of OVC is a dire issue of concern. It is estimated there are over three million orphans in the country, 47 per cent orphaned as a result of HIV-Aids and many more remain vulnerable due to other factors. The statistics surrounding the rising population and the immense suffering of these children can be overwhelming.

Studies conducted in Kenya show child care institutes lack the necessary financial or professional capacity and physical resources required; facilities are overstretched with the high population of children in their homes; have shortage of qualified care givers, provide substandard care to children and have inadequate recreational facilities.

This has resulted in the provision of sub-standard care and inability to satisfy children needs. Despite the indication CCIs have populations that exceed the capacity of their resources, most care homes in the country continue to rely or are dependent majorly on one-off donations from external sources such as from community members.

These homes however, require consistent and stable economic support from those who are fortunate and God has endowed with opportunities. The children require a conducive environment that is homely and with good facilities and amenities.

There are about 1,500 recognized children’s homes in Kenya alone with an estimation of about 40,000 children. Many are owned by individuals, who cannot run their children’s homes single-handed, and therefore look for external aid.

However, when donating clothes, for instance, don't give worn out clothes. The receivers should be treated with dignity.

Kenya should also regulate foreigners volunteering at orphanages, given the many well-documented cases of foreign nationals who have abused children, even sexually, in the guise of helping.

Lastly, as you head to that orphanage to share your bundles of donations and hugs, spare a moment to think about the environment in which the children are growing up.

Lucky Oluoch, is a student at St Paul's University, while Jackson Ngari, studies at Rongo University