Rhoda, a caregiver at Neema House, has been writing articles for the local newspaper in Laikipia County, where the Neema House is located. We pray for families who are strengthened and can be reunited. Here is her latest article.
Family economic empowerment has impacted positively in enhancing lives of different families with vulnerable children. The Government of Kenya has a range of social protection programmes which have supplemented family incomes in form of Cash Transfers to poor families caring for orphans and vulnerable children and persons living with severe disability.
Economic burden facing families have been closely linked to high numbers of children in need of care and protection. Efforts by various quarters have seen this burden slightly lifted off the shoulders of care givers thereby either retaining children within their families or having children who had been in the care of institutions reintegrated back.
Family reunification is an exit strategy that we at Neema House Infant Rescue Centre continually explore for children under our care. To effectively reunify a child with the family, the underlying factors that had predisposed the child must first be addressed. Preceding the reunification of a child, we prepare both the care givers and the home environment to ensure a smooth transition of the child from our care into the family’s by conducting respective home visits to identify a responsible family member, in instances where the parents are
unsuitable, to offer continued care.
Despite the challenges faced, the Centre has reunified nearly 50 children with their biological families since its inception in 2014. The referring authorities together with our Social work Office and the community at large have valiantly and persistently worked hand in hand to make this venture a success.
In the reintegration process, we work out a plan in terms of nutritional support, counseling and healthcare to address the stressors that had previously rendered the child vulnerable. We aim to walk alongside these families as they take up this new role with the goal of future self-sufficiency. Family outreach programs that we have undertaken aim at strengthening the community safety nets and social support systems that would otherwise render the children vulnerable.
We implore families with orphans and vulnerable children taking up this new responsibility to register their children into these Government programmes to alleviate the economic burden facing them.