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Daystar hosts Forum on the status of Missing children in Kenya

Panel discussion on the plight os missing children in Kenya L-R Dr. Roseline Olumbe, Eunice Kilundo, Edwina Jeruto, Wilkester Verah, Caroline Olilo, Bernard Maina Maryanna Munyendo

On May 17, 2023, the School of Applied Human Sciences hosted a public forum on the status of missing children in Kenya.  The multi-stakeholder dialogue event took place at Daystar Main Campus Athi River.  

 Themed: Strengthening family and community care to prevent and respond to cases of Missing and Found Children, the dialogue was moderated by the Executive Director of Missing Child Kenya, Ms. Maryana Munyendo

 While expounding on the importance of the forum Ms. Munyendo underscored the need for people to be sensitive to the plight of children.  

The Dean School of Applied Human sciences, Dr. Kennedy Ongaro pointed out that it is our God-given responsibility to take care of children. “We must be vigilant, responsible and accountable,” he said. 

On her part, the HoD Development Studies Dr. Mary Mogute observed that many times people hardly pay any attention to cases of missing children reported in the news. 

In a panel discussion, the Coordinator of the Institute of Child Development, Dr. Roseline Olumbe stressed the need to include topics on child protection in school syllabus and come up with policies to safeguard children. She further emphasized on the need to engage in research and publication on issues regarding missing children, sensitize children on self-protection, and parents on ways to safeguard their children.  

Mrs. Eunice Kilundo from Child Fund observed that crime has taken a faceless form, seeing that criminals are now invading children's spaces online. She called on parents to take an active role in caring for their children and safeguarding them from online predators. 

“It is our responsibility to make sure that everyone in the family is safe and comfortable,” added Athena Morgan - International Center for Missing and exploited Children. She further discussed the factors that can make a child go missing, including sexual exploitation, violence, death of parent, victimization, and crime. 

From a law enforcement point of view, Madam Wilkester Verah underscored importance of the National Police Service in protecting children. She however, urged people to immediately report cases of missing children, saying that a missing child is an emergency. 

A Daystar student, Bernard Maina urged fellow students not to succumb to pressure for wealthy living, which he noted was a key contributor to young people going missing. Bernard eloquently shared on factors that contribute to the youth and young adults going missing. 

 Giving examples of how young people fall victims to predators online,  Bernard observed that “We want to get rich quickly, so we interact with criminals online,” he warned. 

 In his closing remarks HoD Psychology Dr. Jared Menecha thanked the presenters for coming, and for their informative input to the topic of discussion. 

The talk left people more enlightened and knowledgeable on the issues of missing children in Kenya. 

The Forum on the Status of Missing Children in Kenya was held at Daystar University on 17 May 2023. 

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