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Media practitioners challenged to champion children care reforms

KNA        Media practitioners from Nyamira and Kisumu Counties have been challenged to spearhead children care reforms agenda in their daily chores of news gathering and reporting.

 
This challenge was put forth today by Ms. Janet Mwema, principal children’s officer based at National Council for Children’s Services (NCCS) during a three day workshop for journalists from Nyamira and Kisumu Counties observing that media is a very powerful tool in bringing about change in any community.

 

            


“There is a global campaign on reforming the way we should take care of vulnerable children by removing them from the care of Charitable Children Institutions (CCIs) and bringing them back under the care of safe and nurturing families and as governments work out on modalities of strengthening families to take care of their children at family setting, media should support us in this cause by reporting on the same and initiating discourse on same in their audiences,” Ms. Mwema explained.

 

 
“Many a times the media reporters have got away with reporting stories involving children and have infringed on their rights to privacy with an ignorant intent of being the first reporter to ‘break the news’ of an exclusive story, leaving the child and close relatives under sheer shame with lasting detrimental psychological and traumatic effects,” the officer observed.

 
Ms Mwenwa elaborated that children growing under the care CCIs, experience serious impediments in fitting into the normal society once they are released, with majority of them becoming dejected social misfits who resolve either into drug and substance abuse, crime or even commit suicide.

 

Kisumu County Children services Coordinator, Humphrey Wandeo supported that media play a very important role in reporting to the public accurately and consistently on the importance of children care reforms because they have the power to influence intended change in our communities so that societies can embrace the original traditional strategy of ensuring that vulnerable children in need of care and protection as much as possible grow up in family settings so they can also be responsible adults and citizens.

 

“Our children offices are very ready to support the media and give them all necessary accurate information for their reporting so that correct information is disseminated to the public, all in the best interest of the child,” Mr. Wandeo assured.

 

 

Ms Maureen Obuya, working under a programme dubbed ‘Changing the Way We Care’ (CTWWC) funded by Catholic Relief Services (CRS) implementing the children care reforms in Kenya said they are willing to partner with all relevant stakeholders media being key to assist them set the children care reforms agenda, the reason why they have decided to train them so they can execute their advocacy role with accuracy and confidence. 

 

Mr Edward Onyancha, a reporter with Minto FM in Nyamira said the training was very educative and timely in informing their daily activities of reporting on children care reforms and children matters in general.

  

“During many incidents of reporting children matters, we have been doing it without keenness on media reporting ethics in place disadvantaging the child, but with this training our reporting on children matters will greatly improve bearing in mind that since they don’t have a right of consent or chance to comment on the matter at hand, as reporters we have a responsibility to ensure that by all means the dignity of children involved in any story is adhered to rather and not stereotyping them,” commented Onyancha.

 

CRS in collaboration with Government; department of children services is implementing the children care reforms in Kenya through an initiative dubbed Changing the Way We Care (CTWWC).

 

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