The common fate
Children in the urban community of Ukunda are less likely to complete their primary school education or transition to secondary schools due to many challenges which range from peer pressure, drug and substance abuse, transactional sex, boda boda businesses and financial inability.
Such would have been the fate of Omari* who dropped out of school in 2014 because of indiscipline after he joined a group of youth who were not attending school. This made him not respect or listen to his teachers. Together with his friends, he would work in farms to earn as a little as ten shillings a day to cater for his needs.
At the inception of the Ending Violence against Children (E-VAC) project, Omari* was among the children invited to attend a training targeting children in and out of school.
The training aimed at strengthening the capacity of children to participate in their own protection by enhancing their self-esteem, skills and knowledge on child protection and their opportunities to report violence against children.
"Training on child rights helped me leave the bad company,” Omari confirmed.
With the help of the child rights and responsibility club chaperone, he returned to school in 2015 and was re-enrolled in standard 7. He then joined the child rights and responsibility club and was elected the club secretary as well as deputy clerk Kwale County Children Assembly.
I am encouraged and motivated with other children I normally meet during children forums. I am glad and I can learn and interact with other children
Through the mentorship programs conducted by Kwale Art Troop (KART) and supported by E-VAC project, Omari has equally demonstrated amazing drama skills. He is currently among the best in his class and is aiming to join a National School in 2017. “I am encouraged and motivated by other children I normally meet during children forums. I am glad and I can learn and interact with other children,” he said.
More than 2,199 children have benefited from trainings supported by the ‘Ending Violence against Children’ project in Kwale, a partnership between Plan International Kenya and the European Union.