FPFK FAMILY CARE FOR ORPHANS & VULNERABLE CHILDREN (OVC) ADVOCACY PROJECT

OVC Project - Participant in couples training seminar wearing a T-Shirt displaying his commitment.

FPFK FAMILY CARE FOR ORPHANS & VULNERABLE CHILDREN (OVC) ADVOCACY PROJECT

FPFK is dedicated to working to reduce the violated rights of children. Through education and advocacy work, the church is implementing family care for orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) advocacy project in Nyamira south Sub County. The main focus lies on targeting Orphans and vulnerable Children especially Children born out of wedlock. Nyamira appears to be having enough food due average rainfall and fertile soil, however, the landmass is reducing due to high population growth rate diminishing basic child amenities hence making many children drop out of school and engaging themselves in child labour activities. There is an increasing number of OVC in Nyamira County. The project noted that majority of these vulnerable children are the ones born out of wedlock and those left after loss, divorce or separation of their parents. Female Genital Mutilation is secretly practiced in the area though women are not ready to talk about it. During the project survey, a female teacher who was interviewed confirmed that FGM is practiced secretly to girls at a tender age without their consent.

 According to County children officer, the cases handled by the authority are for OVCs’ abuse and child neglect. The project established that the children are discriminated, stigmatized, socially rejected, exploited, sexually abused, disinherited, denied basic needs (education, healthcare, and food) and subjected to forced labour. This situation diminishes OVCs capacity to participate in matters affecting their lives.  Indeed cases of OVCs’ abuse have become a common feature in some parts of Nyamira County with only a few of these being reported to the relevant authorities.

 Aim of the project

The project aims at establishing FPFK as a strong alternative in the child protection system, by improving knowledge and skills among FPFK members and the larger society through networking with other stakeholders to prevent OVC abuse and exploitation within communities.

Objectively the project seeks to;

  1. Strengthen the role of the church in areas of OVC rights and protection.
  2. Provide a platform where OVC rights are positively addressed by relevant authorities iii. Advocate, sensitize and educate the community on OVC and other children rights in general.

Build networks with other faith, civil society organizations and the government in strengthening both formal and informal child protection

  1. Create intervention systems to address OVC abuse within the church and society.
  2. Promote knowledge of children rights in general to churches and local schools. Reducing stigmatization, discrimination, exploitation, and abuse of OVCs vii. Reduce rejection and discrimination to parents of the OVCs viii. Curb the increasing number of OVCs in the community through the churches.
  3. Create child rights awareness, and promote the protection of the rights of the OVCs Empowering households/ families taking care of the OVCs
  4. Strengthen government and community-based child protection systems, and enhanced care programs for the OVCs
Activities implemented.
 Project Set up: 

January 2018 with the introduction of the project to County Government, FPFK Borabu Regional Council, targeted churches and schools together with other stakeholders in Nyamira South Sub County.

The project Advisory Committee (PAC) was then formed to offer oversight role and a total of 5 members were appointed.

A baseline survey was conducted within Nyamira South Sub County to measure the level of vulnerability and determine the possible ways to reducing and apply resiliency on the same.

30 Church Pastors and Board Members were then sensitized mobilized to understand and internalize on the project and its objectives.

Training and sensitization meetings:

59 Mentor Volunteer couples were trained on family care, Parental skills, psychosocial support Foster care and adoption among others.

The project also sensitized area chiefs, their assistants and Sub County Commissioner was also on 4th October 2018 at Nyamira College. They were sensitized on the legal process and the handling OVC cases within their administrative areas.

 Notable results
  1. The project successfully contributed to the establishment of Functional and active Area Advisory Council (AAC) in Nyamira Sub County Government
  1. The Project Created a working conducive environment for mentor couples to address OVCs’ issues especially in the area of response and protection within their community.
  2. Created a platform where both Church, Schools County Government can address issues affecting OVC in families and the community at large.
Challenges faced

i. Some of the activities which were planned were not conducted within this Project period e.g. the formation of area advisory councils (Location AACs) forward and location has not been done and subjected to forced labour. This situation diminishes OVCs capacity to participate in matters affecting their lives.  Indeed cases of OVCs’ abuse have become a common feature in some parts of Nyamira County with only a few of these being reported to the relevant authorities.

 

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