A LESSON FROM KENYAN CHILDREN
/* Style Definitions */
mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;
By Wangari Karuoya
Knowledge is said to be power but very few of us Kenyans are aware that there is a children’s parliament in existence. Actually one that has existed for the last two years. This year’s theme was ‘Access to quality education for Every Child in Kenya’. Just like the national government, Children from all the 47 counties in Kenya have a replica of this which is characterized by the executive and legislative arm with a Judiciary arm expected to be introduced soon as per the directive of the Labor, Social Security and Services Cabinet Secretary .Speaking at the Safaricom Stadium in Kasarani ,Honorable Kazungu Kambi said ,“I would like to urge the director of Children’s services Mr. Ahmed Hussein to introduce the Judiciary arm so that the Kenya Children’s Assembly can function as a lone government with the support of the national government.”
He was also quick to add that he was ready to fight for the rights of children but that they should also fight for their own rights. “I challenge this Children’s Assembly, during this third session, to raise pertinent issues in line with this year’s theme, in its discussion, which are key to their development and come up with ways on how to implement the deliberations once they go back to their areas of representation.”
The KCA which has been running from the 28th of April will come to an end on the 1st of May after the election of a new body which includes the president, the speaker, the deputy speaker and the clerk and their inauguration. The president will then select and appoint the cabinet secretaries who will be heading the different dockets just like in the National Assembly.
Janet Mkandoe from Taita Taveta County and the outgoing president of the assembly was very grateful to the Kenyan Government for enabling children to have their voices heard through the creation of this assembly. During her term in government, she had many achievements one being that she was able to urge the First lady Margaret Kenyatta to become an ambassador for children which she happily agreed to do. Clearly, she has a passion for children’s issues which she echoed in her speech saying, “Leadership is not easy. Leadership entails sacrifice and it’s about passion.”
Speaking on behalf of Save the Children, Zeba Siaanoi, the Director of Advocacy, Communication and Media encouraged the children to hold their duty bearers accountable in the counties. “Now that devolution is a reality, challenges notwithstanding, children must engage in development and these representatives here, must be seen as a voice for children collectively. I would hasten to add a new role; that of holding their county governments to account. Duty bearers have obligations to their constituencies and must be held to account. We must nurture this and encourage our young leaders to play this role.” She emphasized.