Compassionate. Therapeutic. Thoughtful. These adjectives depicted the state of the Strategic Leadership Development Programme (SLDP) class when it organized a visit to a rescue and a rehabilitation centre in Nairobi. The participants donated food stuff, clothing and other goodies to the two institutions.
The SLDP participants’ decision to visit the Lower Kabete’s Nairobi Children’s Rescue Centre and Getathuru Rehabilitation Centre was their form of Corporate Social Responsibility.
The first stop was the Nairobi Children’s Rescue Centre, a government owned institution under the Ministry of East African Community (EAC), Labour, and Social Protection and run by the Children’s Department.
The home was established in 1989 as a place of safety with a capacity to hold 60 children, although the actual population fluctuates from time to time. The management of this home says that it has experienced an influx in the recent past, largely attributed to the breakdown of social norms, high poverty rates and the HIV/AIDS scourge.
The Nairobi Children’s Rescue Centre is the only government institution that takes care of children aged up to six years and are in need hence protecting them in their formative ages.
The participants were given a warm reception by the manager, Ms. Jane Waswa and her deputy Ms. Jane Munohe who informed them that the home seeks to safeguard the rights and welfare of all children in the country through implementation of relevant policies, coordination, supervision and delivery of children rescue services.
Their vision is to see a society where children become responsible citizens through fulfillment of their prescribed rights and welfare.
The participants proceeded to interact with the children through song and dance and got to learn more about some of the challenges faced by the children. Later, the SLDP team visited the Getathuru Rehabilitation Centre whose main task is to take care of underage offenders.
At the Centre, they met the Deputy Manager, who briefed them that it was founded in 1959 as an approved school but was to be registered as a rehabilitation centre in 1963 exclusively for boys.
The Centre handles three categories of offenders: high risk, which consists of cases such as robbery, defilement and man slaughter, medium risk offenders involves crimes that are not capital and low risk which has children involved in petty crime. The child offenders usually stay at the Centre for up to four months.
As they mingled with the boys in a friendly fashion, the class vice-president, Mr. John Maingi, who spoke on behalf of his colleagues encouraged the children to reform and learn from their mistakes.
By Pauline Maina