NAIROBI, Kenya, Friday, March 4, 2020 – Labour and Social Protection Cabinet Secretary, Simon Chelugui says his Ministry is committed towards providing care services to children in need of care and protection through vocational training and rehabilitation programmes in children institutions.
Mr Chelugui made the remarks in a speech read on his behalf by the Principal Secretary in the State Department for Social Protection, Mr. Nelson Marwa during a High-level fashion show to promote reintegration of children in conflict with the Law, at the UN office in Gigiri, Nairobi.
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Regional Office for Eastern Africa (UNODC ROEA), in the context of its Regional Programme for 2016-2021 entitled: “ Promoting the Rule of Law and Human Security in Eastern Africa” in partnership with the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection, through the Department of Children Services (DCS), is supporting a rehabilitation and reintegration initiative for adolescent girls in conflict with the law at both Kirigiti and Dagoretti Rehabilitation Schools in Kiambu and Nairobi counties respectively…
“The programs seek to provide children with soft and life-skills, entrepreneurship skills, education, and vocational training, as well as psycho-social support.” said CS Chelugui.
“These institutions host both girls and boys who find themselves in conflict with law as a result of various traumatizing experiences that drive them to the street where they resort to crime as a need of survival,” said the CS.
“This program, which the ministry is initiating in partnership with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and THRibune, a Spanish Non-Governmental Organization, is seeking to engage the young girls with local designers who have already embarked on training them in fashion-design and tailoring,” said the CS.
UNODC in partnership with the government of the Republic of Kenya is collaborating to establish the first residence for temporary accommodation for adolescent girls in conflict with the law. The reintegration programmes will be offered for the duration of the stay of the girls, or until they reach the age of eighteen.
This initiative is part of the Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice programme of the Regional Programme and seeks to empower and provide adolescent girls with soft and life-skills, entrepreneurship skills, education, and vocational training, as well as psycho-social support.
Through this initiative, UNODC undertook a needs assessment for rehabilitation homes, borstal institutes and prisons in Kenya.
The findings of this assessment highlighted the complexity and challenges associated to the reintegration of young women and adolescent girls in the community, who, in many instances, are unable to return to their homes and have no means to sustain themselves.
The High-level Fashion show showcased the creative work of the participants of the Fashion Design and Entrepreneurship Programme, celebrate national and international partnership to empower adolescent girls in conflict with the law, raise awareness and see firsthand the value gender-focused investments, specifically targeting the provision of comprehensive services to foster reintegration.
UNODC has partnered with Miss Universe Kenya, the company organising the pageant every year in the country. Miss Universe will be supporting the initiative by wearing the collections made by the girls in collaboration with the designers during the fashion shows.
The company has a well-known Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) agenda and will be using their platform to advertise the events and raise awareness on the initiative.
The Labour and Social Protection CS thanked the local designers and civil society organizations, who have invested their time and resources in training the first cohort of girls in fashion-design and tailoring, which showcases the first outcomes of their joint efforts.
In his remarks, PS Marwa commended the contestants for showcasing their talents to the world.
In her remarks the Court of Appeal Judge, Hon. Lady Justice Martha Koome who is a Child Rights champion committed herself to do her best to protect the rights of Children.
“If a child is in conflict with the law, there must be a failure somewhere in the society and I therefore commit myself to render all I have to protect the rights of our children,” said Justice Koome.
In his remarks, the Spanish Ambassador to Kenya, Mr Javier García de Viedma, stressed the need to give needy girls a new beginning. “As Member State of the United Nations, Spain is highly commited to contribute to the Global Agenda 2030 and the achievements of the SDGs.” he said.
“Similar to Kenya, Spain does not continue to hold criminal records for minors when they turn 18 years old, in order to allow them to have a clean start away from social stigmatization.” added the Spanish Ambassador.
The Director of Children Services Mr. Noah Sanganyi congratulated the girls for taking advantage of the opportunities given to them to have meaningful lifes.
Others at the colourful event included UNODC Regional Representative for Eastern Africa in Nairobi, Dr. Amado de Andres, THRibune President Ms. Cruz-Sanchez de Lara.
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