Category Archives: Children


from: joachim omolo ouko
News Dispatch with Father Omolo Beste

About 500 bishops from around the continent are set to converge in Harare on November 28 for a two-day annual bishop’s conference meant to tackle women and child abuse cases in Africa. Last year it was reported that a young girl from Malawi by the name Grace went under horrible sexual ritual.

She learned she’d be going to a camp with her friends, she was thrilled. Every girl around her age in her southern Malawi village would attend the rite of passage. When she got she was told she is to sleep with a man and get rid of child ‘dust.’ If you don’t do it, your body will get diseased”, she was warned.

A demonstration involved one girl lying down, with one of the older women on top. “You should be dancing and have a man on top of you, making him happy,” she was told. At age 10, Grace was being taught how to have sex.

Like the other girls in the village, Grace had been sent to camp with her family’s blessings. This is because everyone makes sure their child goes to initiation ceremony because you will not be accepted in the community.

The Education Commission of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Malawi has released figures indicating that more than 27,000 girls dropped out of primary school in the country between 2010 and 2013 due to early marriages.

The Commission warned that unless the trend is reversed, Malawi would not achieve the Millennium Development Goal on universal primary education by the end of 2015. It went further to say that child marriage remains one of the main obstacles to education for young girls in Malawi where many girls are married before they are 18 years old.

The country’s official minimum marriage age is 15 years. The Education Commission has called upon faith-based communities and traditional leaders to join it in its campaign to have the minimum age raised to 18 years.

The conference which will be mainly made up of apostolic bishops will be held at Belvedere Teacher’s College and is also set to tackle child marriage problems in the region. Apostolic Christian Council of Zimbabwe (ACCZ) president Johannes Ndanga, who is co-ordinating the conference, said the gathering will educate and conscientise the bishops on human rights abuses.

The conference that ends on November 29 will be attended by a number of both apostolic and non-apostolic bishops from Malawi, Kenya, Nigeria and Zimbabwe, among other countries. Zimbabwe is adjudged one of the 41 countries in the world with an unacceptable rate of child marriages.

According to a 2012 report based on data collected by UNFPA during the years 2000 to 2011, the country’s prevalence of child marriage, was at 31percent, and was among 41 nations with the highest rates of child marriages.

Zimbabwe sits at number 39. This comes amid fears that if child marriages were not curbed through legislative measures, the figures could escalate with girls continuing to be deprived of their childhood.

Another 2012 United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) report states that if child marriage was not outlawed by countries practising it by 2030, the number of child brides would grow from 14,2 million girls in 2010 to 15,1 million girls in 2030.
Fr Joachim Omolo Ouko, AJ
Tel +254 7350 14559/+254 722 623 578
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Nigeria: Boko Haram terrorists deny ceasefire claim by Nigeria s government

From: ‘frank patrick materu’

The group’s leader, Abubakar Shekau, said the girls had converted to Islam and been married off since being taken, the BBC reported. But the Boko Haram leader said the girls were “in their marital homes” after being married off by the group, the BBC reported.

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On Saturday, November 1, 2014 11:37 PM, “” <> wrote:
ASSIST News Service (ANS) – PO Box 609, Lake Forest, CA 92609-0609 USA
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Saturday, November 1, 2014

Boko Haram terrorists deny ceasefire claim by Nigeria’s government

By Michael Ireland
Special Correspondent, ASSIST News Service

LAGOS, NIGERIA (ANS) — In a video released by Boko Haram, showing its leader Abubakar Shekau delivering a speech on October 31, the group denies the Nigerian Government’s claim they have reached a ceasefire agreement.

The video, released on Friday and a screenshot of which was posted to the BBC website, was Boko Haram’s first statement after the government announced a ceasefire.

Boko Haram denied claims by Nigeria’s government that it has agreed to a ceasefire and would release more than 200 abducted schoolgirls.

The group’s leader, Abubakar Shekau, said the girls had converted to Islam and been married off since being taken, the BBC reported.

The BBC earlier reported that Nigeria’s army announced a ceasefire with the militants on October 17, saying the girls would soon be freed.

But the BBC says violence has continued since news of the alleged truce, including a fatal bomb blast on Friday.

Boko Haram has been fighting an insurgency since 2009, with some 2,000 civilians reportedly killed this year, the BBC said.

In the video released on Friday, Abubakar Shekau said: “We have not made ceasefire with anyone. We did not negotiate with anyone. It’s a lie. We will not negotiate. What is our business with negotiati on? Allah said we should not.”

The BBC said Shekau also claimed that the militants were holding a German national, thought to be a teacher, who was kidnapped by gunmen in July.

The BBC said there was no indication of when or where the group’s latest video was shot.

In its analysis, the BBC’s Tomi Oladipo in Lagos says the video will come as a huge embarrassment for the Nigerian government after it said it had secured a ceasefire with Boko Haram.

The BBC added that newspapers with headlines on the Chibok girls and their possible release are displayed at a news stand in Abuja. The October 1, 2014 News of the government announcement supposedly sealing a truce with Boko Haram made the front pages.

The BBC explained that the Islamist militants sparked global outrage in April by abducting 219 schoolgirls from the remote north-eastern town of Chibok, in Borno state. Their continued captivity has led to criticism of the Nigerian government’s efforts to secure their release.

It added that hopes were raise d earlier this month when Nigeria’s chief of defense staff, Alex Badeh, announced a truce with the group.

“They’ve assured us they have the girls and they will release them,” he said. “I am cautiously optimistic.”

But the Boko Haram leader said the girls were “in their marital homes” after being married off by the group, the BBC reported.

The BBC added that last week, Human Rights Watch said in a report that Boko Haram was holding more than 500 women and young girls captive and that forced marriage was common in the group’s camps.

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** Michael Ireland is a volunteer Internet Journalist and licensed minister who has served as Chief Correspondent and Senior International Correspondent for ASSIST News Service ASSIST News Service. since 1998. He has reported for ANS from Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Israel, Jordan, China, and Russia. For a digest of ANS stories, log-on to Mike’s Monitor at

One of 300 kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls shares story of her dramatic escape

From: ‘frank patrick materu’

Escaped from Boko Haram
On Friday, September 26, 2014 11:41 AM, “ANS@ wrote:
ASSIST News Service (ANS) – PO Box 609, Lake Forest, CA 92609-0609 USA
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Thursday, September 25, 2014

One of 300 kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls shares story of her dramatic escape

By Mark Ellis

Senior Correspondent, ASSIST News Service

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA (ANS) — She was only 18, a high school senior, when she was awakened from her school dormitory at 11:34 p.m. by the sounds of gunfire. The terror group Boko Haram had overrun Chibok and was headed for her school.

“I called my father and he said we should not go anywhere,” says Saa, a pseudonym used for her protection. “He said we should gather ourselves together and pray so God will help us.” Saa is a Christian and her father is the pastor of Nigeria Church of the Brethren.

Her riveting testimony was given at a September 19th forum hosted by the Hudson Institute and supported by the Jubilee Campaign for religious freedom.

When Boko Haram entered the school on the evening of April 14th, the teachers and staff had already fled. When the gun-toting extremists entered her dorm room, Saa didn’t realize at first it was Boko Haram – but that soon became clear.

“They said if we shouted or tried to run away they would kill us. We didn’t know what to do. We were scared. A girl showed them where we kept our food, because it was a boarding school. They packed the food on large trucks and all the property. They gathered us near the gates and started bombing the school,” she recounts.

The girls were herded under a large tree and then loaded into trucks. “They said if we didn’t want to go they will kill us,” Saa says.

Three girls would not fit on the trucks and the jihadists questioned them about their faith. An intense verbal altercation erupted between the jihadists over whether to free or kill the three. One of them felt strongly any non-Muslim should die.


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Mark Ellis is a senior correspondent for ASSIST News Service and the founder of He is available to speak to groups about the plight of the church in restricted countries, to share stories and testimonies from the mission field, and to preach the gospel.

Child deaths in Africa: Local ideas shaping national health agendas to reduce child deaths in developing countries

From: News Release – African Press Organization (APO)

Local ideas shaping national health agendas to reduce child deaths in developing countries

GSK and Save the Children $1 million Healthcare Innovation Award continues to call for life-saving ideas for newborns and under-fives

LONDON, United-Kingdom, August 12, 2014/ — GSK ( and Save the Children continue to call for applications for their 2014 $1 million Healthcare Innovation Award, as previous winners attract interest and support from national governments to help improve survival rates of newborns and children under five in developing countries.

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Six months after receiving a share of the 2013 Healthcare Innovation Award, five organisations based in developing countries are helping shape national health agendas and influencing approaches to healthcare for children and newborns.

One of the winners, MicroClinic Technologies Ltd., was awarded $100,000 for ‘ZiDi™, a mobile health management system, which has now been adopted by the Kenya Ministry of Health. The system is being used as part of the national e-health platform due to its ability to improve medicine supply, service quality and resource accountability for child healthcare. It will be rolled out across 5,000 public health facilities starting next year.

Muso, a community-led organisation in Mali that helps tackle the issue of poverty-related child mortality, also received $100,000 to support its programme which aims to quickly identify women and children in need of healthcare. The award money is being used to help reach 77,000 people across the region and has inspired the Mali Ministry of Health to invite Muso to help draft its five-year strategic plan for scaling up national community-based healthcare delivery.

Previous innovations recognised by the Healthcare Innovation Award are also being implemented across borders through collaboration, ensuring that ideas that may help save children’s lives are being shared. The top-prize winner from 2013 was a low cost Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) kit, developed by Friends of Sick Children (FOSC) in Malawi. This device helps premature and newborn babies suffering from distress breathe more easily. With funding from the Award, and backing from the Ministry of Health in Malawi, FOSC is now sharing this technology with teaching hospitals in Tanzania, Zambia and South Africa. This technology has the potential to save the lives of 178,000 African children each year if implemented continent-wide.

Organisations from across the developing world can now apply for this year’s Healthcare Innovation Award. Applications must be for innovative healthcare approaches that have resulted in tangible improvements to under-5 child survival rates, which are sustainable and have the potential to be scaled-up and replicated. This year, special interest and attention will be given to work that aims to increase the quality of, or access to, healthcare for newborns.

Ramil Burden, Vice President, Africa and Developing Countries, GSK, said: “The success stories we’re hearing from last year’s winners, just six months since receiving their funding, are truly inspiring and we want to help replicate this success. When it comes to improving access to quality healthcare, no single organisation has all the answers and we need to continuously look for new and different ideas, wherever they might be. Our award recognises that often the best solutions to development challenges come from people living with them and through partnerships we can help scale up local solutions to create global impacts.

Dr Sam Agbo, Head of Health, Save the Children said: “This year we’re particularly searching for innovations that are helping to improve the health of newborns in the developing world. Every year, almost three million babies die during their first month of life. But many of these deaths are preventable with the right resources and care in place. We must find different approaches, informed by first-hand experience, to address this issue. This Award provides a platform for working in collaboration, which will ultimately help to save the lives of some of the world’s most vulnerable children.”

More information on the award and application criteria can be found at Entries close on 25th August at 11:59pm (GMT). Winners will be announced in December 2014.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).

Notes to Editors:

2013 Healthcare Award Innovation Winners – 6 month update

Friends of Sick Children, Malawi: Awarded top prize of $400,000 for their life-saving technology for newborns

– Friends of Sick Children, Malawi is a partnership between the Paediatric Department at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre, Malawi, Rice University’s Rice 360°: Institute for Global Health Technologies in the United States, and University of Malawi College of Medicine

– Their ‘bubble’ Continuous Positive Airway Pressure ‘bCPAP’ device is a low-cost device that helps newborn babies in respiratory distress to keep their lungs inflated so they can breathe more easily

– This low-cost adaptation of traditional CPAP devices can be produced for around $400 – a 15-fold reduction from the average cost of devices currently used in developed countries ($6000)

– Respiratory distress claims the lives of about 1 million African babies each year. It is estimated that this technology could save the lives of 178,000 African children if implemented across the continent

– The Award is helping FOSC to share their bCPAP technology and provide training in teaching hospital neonatal units across Malawi, in partnership with the Ministry of Health, Tanzania, Zambia and South Africa

– To date, FOSC have partnered with the additional three countries, outside of Malawi, to undertake needs assessments regarding patient load, training needs and staff development

– Community healthcare worker training will take place in the Autumn of 2014 in select district and central hospitals and a training website has been launched to support clinical partners with accurate technical and practical applications of the technology following in-person training

– By the end of 2014, all countries in the expansion plan will have undergone training and 10 sites will have 4 bCPAP machines plus associated equipment

– Chokonojesta is just one of the baby boys to have benefited from bCPAP. He was born prematurely at 7 months, weighing just over 2lbs. Although he was able to breathe on his own, his lungs were so immature it took nearly all his energy to do so. With the support of bCPAP, Chokonjesta was able to grow and gain weight and after two weeks he graduated to Kangaroo Mother Care, where skin-to-skin contact with his mother provided warmth and helped him to regulate his own heart beat and breathing. Now 6 months old, he is thriving at home with his family.

BRAC, Bangladesh: Awarded $300,000 for South-South collaboration, helping to improve women and children’s health from Bangladesh to the slums of Sierra Leone

– BRAC’s ‘Manoshi’ is an urban maternal, neonatal and child health programme that that equips healthcare workers with mobile phone-based data collection software, allowing them to more efficiently record and report vital patient information in a simple and standardised format. It offers a comprehensive package of health services to mothers, babies and children to meet their health needs and challenges in three key ways:

? Simple, clean delivery rooms for new mothers with a trained birth attendant

? Quick access to emergency health services for those who cannot afford it

? Patient digital data collection for more efficient health service delivery

– The Award money enabled BRAC to bring the Manoshi programme to the Portee slum of Freetown, Sierra Leone, where under-five and maternal mortality rates are among the highest in the world. The total population in the slum is 6,049 people, including 2,593 women and children under five years of age

– Mobile phones will be used to notify staff about pregnancies, births and for sharing information efficiently about complicated deliveries and emergency referrals

– In July 2014, all community healthcare workers in the Portee slum received training on maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH) issues , from the District Health Management Team (DHMT) at the Sierra Leone Ministry of Health and Sanitation

– As part of the programme, 15 community healthcare workers have been selected from the community to implement the programme

MUSO, Mali: Awarded $100,000 for delivering care to the doorsteps of some of the world’s most impoverished communities

– MUSO is a community-led organization in Mali that helps tackle the issue of poverty-related child mortality

– Their Award money is being used to deliver healthcare to 77,000 people across the region. The programme supports the early identification of women and children in need of healthcare, before their symptoms escalate to a more serious condition.

– The increased attention and resources made possible through the award will enable MUSO to expand their reach, both in the urban areas, where they currently operate, and into rural areas.

– MUSO will replicate their rapid health system in 157 new communities, reaching a population of 120,000. This expansion will triple the number of people currently served by MUSO and help save millions of lives.

– The momentum generated by the Award has led to increased attention and action at a decision making level. The Malian Ministry of Health invited MUSO to help draft its 5-year strategic plan for scaling up national community-based healthcare delivery to provide quality care for more than three million children under the age of five

– MUSO’s leadership has also been invited to present its model and research to those working to accelerate global child survival efforts at the World Bank, USAID, and the United Nations

– MUSO have begun laying the groundwork to expand its CHW service delivery package beyond the traditional focus on malaria and diarrheal diseases to other challenges, such as pneumonia, maternal and neonatal health, and malnutrition, that impact child and maternal survival

– A MUSO-Medic mobile partnership will be launched to test and deploy a cutting-edge performance dashboard to enable CHWs to directly record and transmit data from home visits on their mobile phones

– A comprehensive site selection process will be undertaken to identify eight health centres that will participate in a rural replication next year.

MicroClinic Technologies, Kenya: Awarded $100,000 to help Kenyan public sector healthcare go digital

– ‘ZiDi™’ is a mobile health management system designed to improve the quality of maternal and child care by providing access to real-time data optimized for health planning decisions.

– With their Award money, MicroClinic Technologies Ltd, was able to develop an enhanced version of ZiDi™ called ZiDi™ Pro, which offers a full range of outpatient, inpatient and specialty care modules enabling it to be accessible at all levels of care and health facilities in Africa.

– Since winning the Award, ZiDi™ Pro has now been deployed in larger health facilities, including the Gatundu District Hospital, which serves more than 3,000 patients monthly. Furthermore, ZiDi™ has been adopted by The Kenya Ministry of Health as part of the national e-health platform, helping the Kenyan health sector to become the first in Africa to launch into the digital era.

– Implementation of ZiDi™ at national scale should achieve the target of automating over 5,000 health facilities within the next three to five years.

– The Kenya Ministry of Health through a public private partnership agreement with MicroClinic Technologies is working to secure buy-in from national and international stakeholders to ensure a successful implementation of ZiDi™ Pro in Kenya, with the hope of sharing lessons learned with other East Africa countries.

– In June 2014, ZiDi™-Pro was launched as a total end-to-end solution offered as a pay-as-you-go service to clinics. Private rural clinics can now afford to automate their services, benefit from improved efficiency in service delivery, remote management of their clinics and better forecast supplies on a weekly basis.

Kangaroo Foundation (Fundacion Canguro), Colombia: Awarded $100,000 in special recognition of its work spreading the Kangaroo Mother Care Method (KMC), to improve the premature and low birth weight babies’ care, for a better quality of life

– Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC) is a simple technique which promotes early skin-to-skin contact between mothers and their premature and newborn babies. Mothers act as human incubators, keeping their babies warm, regulating their heartbeats and bond with them.

– This practice has a dramatic impact on reducing morbidity and mortality rates for premature and low birth weight babies.

– By winning this award and along with the support of the Health Ministry of Colombia, the Foundation has been able to widen the KMC health network by training 22 hospitals across country.

– The Kangaroo Foundation is also involved in building an e-learning platform which allows the dissemination of KMC knowledge across borders. In 2015, two countries in Africa, with the highest infant mortality rates, will benefit

– Along with their efforts on the ground, the Kangaroo Foundation is advocating for Colombia to be the first country to have KMC established as an official public health policy and for each district to have a KMC centre of excellence.

Criteria for entry – nominations must:

1) Be from a country classified as ‘low’, ‘lower-middle’, or ‘upper-middle’ income by the World Bank (, and not be from the European Union ( Countries classified as ‘high income’ by the World Bank or that are in the European Union are not eligible

2) Come from an organisation based in an eligible country, with an innovation used for the benefit of the people in an eligible country

GSK ( – one of the world’s leading research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare companies – is committed to improving the quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better and live longer. For further information please visit

Save the Children – Save the Children works in more than 120 countries. We save children’s lives. We fight for their rights. We help them fulfil their potential.

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Reports Leo Odera Omolo.

In an African society the arrival of the new rains season after along spell of the biting drought is regarded and viewed as good and promising the rural farming community of a bumper grain harvesting in the near future and food security.

However, the latest of the current short rains in many parts of Western Kenya has brought with it a lot of natural calamities and tragedies leaving many villagers in mourning mood.

Two male students were struck dead at Chepkemei Secondary School when they were struck by the thunderbolt early this week. Tragedy occurred on Monday at about 4.30 PM. It was during the game time when students were preparing themselves to go home after the day long classroom work.

Nan di County is laying about 200 kilometers north west of the Kenyan capital Nairobi and in the highlands west of the Rift Vally. It left ten other students injured and were admitted at the Moi Teaching and Referral hospital in Eldoret Town.

The Principal of the school was quoted in the local media as having said that this was the first incident of it its kind to be experienced. He said, however, that the tragedy had robbed the school two of its brightest students. The bodies of the victims were taken away to the morgue after their parents had been informed.

Within 30 kilometers away at Soy Primary in the neighboring Kakamega Count , 30 primary school pupils were injured when the lightning struck their classes. The affected pupils were in standard seven and eight. The tragedy occurred during games time and late afternoon downpour at about 5.P.M local time.

The pupils were outside in the field playing, but dashed back to clash rooms for shelter when the rains began with storms. The head teacher Wafula Nyongesa said that many pupils were now keeping out of the school due to fears. They are scared to death and unwilling to enter into their classrooms, something which could adversely interfere with their performance.

Last year ten people were killed when the thunderbolt struck in West Pokot also located in Western Kenya. The regions are prone to lightning attack, mostly during the short rains seasons which begins in August and ends in December.

Many parts of Western Kenya regions do experience thunderstorms every year, with Kisii County leading the pack, followed by Nandi, Busia, Kakamega, Uasin Gishu, SiayaI, MIgori ,Kericho, Trans-Mara Narok and Migori.

About ten years ago, the retired President Daniel Arap Moi had initiated the crash programme for the installation of lightning arrestors in schools buildings and in all other public institutions

Zimbabwe is leading the rest of Africa in lightning death at an annual rate of 280 followed by Zambia at about 186 annually. Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia followed with the number being put relatively at below 100 annually.

In some community lightning incidents are always associated with witchcrafts.



By Our Investigative Reporter

The Anglican Church sponsored Maseno School for the Deaf school is presently in a severe deplorable state and if checks and balances are not put in place then the multi0million institution might go to the dogs.

This is as a result of ineptness, negligence and total lack of concern and care for the once prestigious institution which are attracted students and pupils from the entire East Africa Community.

The Principal of the Institution is said to lack basic communication and managerial skills as well lack of respect for the employees who have all a long been behind the success of the said institution.

Efforts by the Ministry of Medical Services through their Public Health division to streamline systems within the institution has been met with a lot of corruption as the Principal is said to have pocketed all his critics.

The school infrastructure is in a very deplorable state as the main sewer within the institution has busted dropping all the wastes to the students dormitories and the deaf and blind children who can’t talk as well as see nor hear live in such a pathetic state and at times they drop food on the floor flowing with human faces and pick and eat the same.

The staff have no protective clothing and are forced to clean the sewer discharges with their bare hands, the institutions kitchen has no firewood throughout and the staff are forced to fell trees and use it in its green state which makes the children only to have only one meal in a day yet the parents and the government which are also donors within the institution are not informed notwithstanding the tendering of the same annually.

The said deaf and blind children are forced to cross over the ever busy Siriba road to fetch water from the stream a kilometer away.

On learning these the staff held a meeting after the pathetic situation had resulted into the children going on strike and presented the Principal with a proposed both long and short time for the immediate curbing of the school’s situation.

Rather than acting on the emergency stop gap measure on the situation, the Principal opted to randomly threaten those whom he perceived were behind the said document.

The teachers are presently demoralized and it’s a matter of time they down their tools demanding the removal of the current the Principal who is said to be related to a leading clergy of the church which sponsors the institution.

Besides sealing the vices through money obtained from the institutions coffers which he uses to dish to everybody who attempts to question his misconduct.

The Kisumu County education Office has so far been petitioned to reign in and restore sanity within the institution.

Contacted for comment the school’s Principal a Mr.Ngwaara told this writer that he should direct those questions to Bishop Mwai Abiero whom he says is well positioned to comment on such saying he is mere a figure head and all procurement issues is handled by the Bishop’s office.

“The car which was meant for the school is also being used by the Bishop’s son who is, please talk to him he will answer all your queries, even me I know the institution is in a pathetic state, but what do I do” he added

Education: Massive teacher shortage on the horizon

From: Yona Maro

By Tsigue Shiferaw

Sub-Saharan Africa is about to face a major shortage of teachers, says the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).

UNESCO’s newly released data show that about one third of the countries in the region will face pressure in the coming years to hire more teachers due to a rising demand for education from an increasing school-age population.

As a result, the region will need about 2.1 million new teaching posts while filling another 2.6 million vacant positions as many will leave the profession due to attrition from retirement or sickness.

Some countries are already making efforts to prevent such an outcome. Ethiopia, for instance, has been expanding its teachers’ workforce by an average of 11% per annum since 1999.

Analysts believe this rate could enable the country to meet the challenges of a future shortage.

Cameroon, Namibia and Lesotho have also taken steps to increase the number of teachers, according to the UNESCO Institute for Statistics 2013 study, “Projecting Global Teacher Needs from 2015 to 2030”.

As a result, these countries should be able to attain the Millennium Development Goal of universal primary education.

Before the recent political unrest, the situation in Central African Republic was slightly different as the country was recruiting teachers at a rate of 10% per annum.

There are now fears that the ongoing fighting, if not stopped, could affect recruitment efforts.

But the trend is worsening in other countries. More children in Cote d’Ivoire, Eritrea, Malawi and Nigeria will need extra primary school teachers by 2030 than they currently do.

In Eritrea, for example, out of every seven teachers recruited, 10 are expected to leave, notes the UNESCO study.

On the other hand, Mauritania is catching up and may close the gap by 2015 while Djibouti faces one of the biggest challenges as only 54% of primary school-age children are enrolled.

To attain the goal of universal primary education, Djibouti will need to recruit about 17% more teachers each year between now and 2030.

Many believe this is unlikely to happen because the country doesn’t have the resources to hugely expand its workforce, which means it will inevitably face an acute teacher shortage by then.

While sub-Saharan Africa accounts for 46% of the global shortage of lower secondary school teachers, the data also show that governments that have started to make serious efforts to confront the problem will be in a better position to assure quality and universal education by 2030.

Read the original article on : Education: Massive teacher shortage on the horizon | East & Horn Africa
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Africa: Husbands & Wives

from: joachim omolo ouko
News Dispatch with Father Omolo Beste

Woman as Mother and Wife in the African Context of the Family in the Light of John Paul II’s Anthropological and Theological Foundation: The Case reflected within the Bantu and Nilotic Tribes of Kenya is a book written by Rev Fr Joseph Okech Adhunga, a member of the Apostles of Jesus Missionaries.

This study examines the theological and anthropological foundations of the understanding of the dignity and vocation of woman as a mother and wife, gifts given by God that expresses the riches of the African concept of family.

There are two approaches to inculturation theology in Africa, namely, that which attempts to construct African theology by starting from the biblical ecclesial teachings and find from them what features of African culture are relevant to the Christian theological and anthropological values, and the other one which takes the African cultural background as the point of departure.

The first section examines the cultural concept of woman as a mother and wife in the African context of the family, focusing mainly on the Bantu and Nilotic tribes of Kenya. This presentation examines African creation myths, oral stories, some key concepts, namely life, family, clan and community, the views of African theologians and bishops, focusing mainly on the “the Church as Family.”

The second section examines the theological anthropology of John Paul II focusing mainly on his Theology of the Body and Mulieris Dignitatem. The third section presents the theology of inculturation, examines the African theological anthropological values and compares the Pope’s teachings in understanding the woman as mother and wife within the African family and draws a conclusion and a synthesis.

According to John Paul II, the dignity and vocation of woman is “something more universal, based on the very fact of her being a woman within all the interpersonal relationships, which, in the most varied ways, shape society and structure the interaction between all persons,” (Mulieris Dignitatem no. 29).

This “concerns each and every woman, independent of the cultural context in which she lives and independently of her spiritual, psychological and physical characteristics, as for example, age, education, health, work, and whether she is married or single,” (Mulieris Dignitatem, no. 29).

The theology of inculturation as presented in this dissertation opens the way for the integration of the theological anthropological teachings of John Paul II in understanding African woman as mother and wife.

The book can be bought online at $51.80


From: joachim omolo ouko
News Dispatch with Father Omolo Beste

Clare from Nairobi writes: “Fr Beste it looks this book by Fr Joseph Okech Adhunga is a nice piece to read. Is there anyway it will reach bookshops in Kenya very soon because many of us in the villages do not understand buying a book online.

Secondly, can you compare this book with the new document signed November 19, 2011 by Pope Benedict XVI during a visit to Benin on the equal dignity of women with men? I also read the piece written by Dr Margaret Ogolla and found it nice too.”

Thank you for the question Clare. I am not sure whether Fr Okech’s book will reach Kenya bookshops any soon. Here is his email you can write to him directly to answer the question- I have also not read the book other than abstract so I can’t say whether it captures Pope Benedict’s document.

Pope Benedict’s equal dignity of women with men new document was signed November 19, 2011 during his visit to West African nation of Benin and I managed to run the story on my news blog shortly he signed it.

The Pope emphasized the fact that recognition of the God-given dignity of both women and men in Africa ought to influence the lives of married couples and their families in important ways, urging husbands in today’s Africa to express love and respect for their wives.

The Pope wants men to realize that their witness to the “dignity of every human person will serve as an effective antidote to traditional practices that are contrary to the Gospel and oppressive to women in particular.”

Husbands he says in the document should not be afraid “to demonstrate tangibly that there is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for those one loves, that is to say, first and foremost, for one’s wife and children.

The new document acknowledges the progress made in some African nations “toward the advancement of women and their education.” But “it remains the case,” Pope Benedict writes, “that overall, women’s dignity and rights, as well as their essential contribution to the family and to society, have not been fully acknowledged or appreciated.”

This papal document, known as an apostolic exhortation, is titled “The Commitment of Africa.” It presents the pope’s reflections on the recommendations made to him by the Second Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops held in Rome during October 2009.

Due to the wide range of concerns addressed in the synod recommendations, the apostolic exhortation’s scope is necessarily broad. It devotes attention to matters as diverse as governmental neglect and violence, education, poverty and social justice, the necessity of interreligious dialogue, the plight of migrants, abuses of the environment and the church’s sacramental life.

The 2009 synod condemned “all acts of violence against women,” such as “the battering of wives, the disinheritance of daughters, the oppression of widows in the name of tradition, forced marriages, female genital mutilation, trafficking in women” and “other abuses such as sex slavery and sex tourism.”

Women’s contributions, “not only in the home as wife and mother, but also in the social sphere, should be more generally acknowledged and promoted and also giving women opportunities to make their voice heard and to express their talents through initiatives that reinforce their worth, their self-esteem and their uniqueness would enable them to occupy a place in society equal to that of men — without confusing or conflating the specific character of each — since both men and women are the ‘image’ of the Creator.”

I also managed to read Dr Margaret Ogola’s piece on dignity of the African woman as well. This actually is not a book but her keynote address to women empowerment symposium in Beijing for the Fourth World Women’s Conference.

Her emphasis was based on the fact that the woman is the heart of the family, and the family is the corner stone of society. Conflict between men and women is therefore unnecessary because a woman brings an equal and powerful complementarity to the common human condition.

Equality she said must not be seen to deny anyone of their rightful due. Indeed equality would be self defeating if it were based on injustice. Injustice cannot be corrected by another injustice. This is particularly on widows.

In Africa, parenting challenges are still facing widows. Widows bringing up a baby have to play the role of both mother and father. In such a situation, the personalities of the individuals and also the circumstances in which the child is being brought up affect the upbringing and also the smooth functioning of the house.

Most of the time, a widowed mother not only has to deal with the challenge of raising a child all on her own, but also has to cope with the loss of a spouse. There is always someone to turn to in a two-parent family but for widowed mothers, this option does not exist.

Dealing with the loneliness is one the most challenging problems faced by widowed mothers. There is always the prospect of the mother finding someone new to share her life with but this happens only rarely. The inheritances are there only to exploit the women, mainly for cheap sex. They don’t even take care of the children they produce with these poor women.

Fr Joachim Omolo Ouko, AJ
Tel +254 7350 14559/+254 722 623 578
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From: joachim omolo ouko
News Dispatch with Father Omolo Beste

Gerald from Nairobi writes: Fr Beste I agree with nominated senator Sejenyi that school children should be given contraceptives. I am sure you read yesterday in one of the daily newspapers how the Principal of Butula School decrying the increasing number of unwanted pregnancies and procurement of abortion among female students at his school.

St Romano’s Tingolo mixed secondary school in Butula constituency of Busia County has this year had six female students drop out of school due to pregnancy related issues. Some of the pregnancies have been caused by the teachers at the school, while others are student to student.

This is not the first time that this school has been affected by cases of unwanted pregnancies. In previous years, form four students were highly affected but this year they have had students from form one to four being affected at an alarming rate.

This is just one case. You have heard of many cases where Primary pupils even as earlier as 13 years old getting pregnant. Fr Beste let us not pretend. Time has come that we must help our girls by providing them with contraceptives, including condoms.

This is just for curiosity Beste. Is it true that ongoing polio vaccination is aimed at reducing population as catholic bishops have alleged? If it is true, do you think the government of Kenya is aware of this, and if they are how can they allow something like that? Thank you.”

Thank you for being sincere Gerald. I don’t agree with you that giving school children contraceptives, including condoms will help curb school pregnancies. Even in United Kingdom where contraception services are free, including for people under 16 years old, school pregnancies still take place.

According to the UK law the doctor or nurse won’t tell your parents, or anyone else, as long as they believe that you’re mature enough to understand the information and decisions involved in using the contraceptives. Sex education and how to use contraceptives are taught in schools.

They are taught that latex condoms used consistently and correctly do not only prevent pregnancy but also reduce your risk of becoming infected with HIV infections. Latex condoms are free to any UK student and are available in the health educator’s office, University Health Services.

Your second question is very difficult justify, even though time immemorial, vaccination drives are met with suspicion and protests driven by arguments that they are a way to control population or affect sex drives.

One of the latest of such protests include the recent move by the Catholic bishops demanding answers about a national tetanus vaccine programme they claim is a ‘secret’ government move to introduce birth control.

The catholic bishops claim the government is using a birth control agent covertly mixed in the vaccine. The church went ahead and advised their members — expectant women — not to go for the jab.

The clergy claimed their fears were based on ‘stories’ from other countries. “Information in the public domain which indicates that Tetanus Toxoid vaccine (TT) laced with Beta human chorionic gonadotropin (b-HCG) sub unit which has been used in Philippines, Nicaragua and Mexico to vaccinate women against future pregnancy. Beta HCG sub unit is a hormone necessary for pregnancy.

It is not only in Kenya where such suspicions of vaccinations have been going on. In 2004 false rumors and allegations spread throughout the Northern Nigerian state of Kano that the polio vaccine contained birth control drugs as part of a secret western plot to reduce population growth in the Muslim world.

Another misconception is that the jabs are a family planning method that will ultimately stop the children from giving birth when they want to. But all these are very difficult to verify. Government of Kenya cannot stop the exercise based on speculations and rumors.

Fr Joachim Omolo Ouko, AJ
Tel +254 7350 14559/+254 722 623 578
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From: joachim omolo ouko
News Dispatch with Father Omolo Beste

Claris from Naivasha writes: “Fr Omolo Beste I read your article (attached here) on BISHOP OBALLA’S MESSAGE TO THE YOUTH ON MORAL and found it enriching. I agree with the bishop that youth should keep to moral values and self-discipline as the only way to keep off from sexual immorality.

I have brought this argument Fr Omolo because of the Reproductive Health Care Bill sponsored by nominated Senator Judith Sijeny, of which if passed it be possible for school children as young as 10 years old to have access to contraceptives, including condoms.

As a parent I am so upset. Can you imagine Father that parental consent is not mandatory for the children to access the contraceptives if the bill which is before the Senate is passed? Could it be that this bill is pushed by PSI? This organization has been spearheading the condoms adverts in Kenya even to children”.

Thank you Claris for this good question. You are not very far from the truth. PSI was registered in Kenya as an international non-governmental organization in 1989. Since then, PSI/Kenya has been implementing social marketing programs to address HIV and Aids, reproductive health, malaria and child health promotion.

Their programme seeks to promote safer sexual behaviour among younger and middle aged individuals through social marketing and behaviour change through increase of and access to availability of condoms.

This is the very organization that led to a public outcry last year with their television advertisement on condom usage even to married couples who cheat on each other. This year they have continued with similar adverts. This time they have included young people in the adverts.

Among people who have opposed the bill include Education Cabinet Secretary Jacob Kaimenyi who said the ministry would not allow “introduction of immorality” to young school children by any institution or law.

Like Bishop John Oballa, Kaimenyi says his ministry has an obligation to educate all children and promote good values and we will not be dragged in attempts to propagate bad teachings in schools.

The Kenya National Parents and Teachers Association (KNPTA) has also opposed to it. The Kenya Primary School Heads Association (Kepsha) also rejected the proposed law arguing children should be kept away from contraceptives.

The Kenya Secondary School Heads Association (Kessha) National Chairman, who is also the Principal of St. Mary’s Yala Secondary School, John Awiti has also rejected it. Awiti who is devout Catholic and my parishioner from St. Mark’s Obambo Catholic Church, Archdiocese of Kisumu, says is a mistake because innocent children will become curious and they will start experimenting and that will compromise their morality.

Awiti argues that all parents, teachers and other persons who play a role in bringing up the children must allow the children to grow naturally through proper guidance if we still intend to have a sane society in future.

“Why do we even allow this to be part of national debate?” Awiti asked, telling MPs to focus on pressing issues. On his part, Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) National Chairman Omboko Milemba warned the Senate against passing the Bill, arguing it would encourage moral decadence.

According to Senator Sijeny, the Bill is very important because it seeks the development of a system that is aware that many children are exposed to situations that could lead to risky sexual behaviour.

Her argument is that 10 years old girl is already sexually active and it is her right to fulfill her sexual desires through intercourse just like other sexually active adults. Although it sounds as if foreign NGO’s, including PSI are behind the bill, the Senator said the Bill was her own creation and not sponsored or pushed by any third party.

Fr Joachim Omolo Ouko, AJ
Tel +254 7350 14559/+254 722 623 578
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USA: On Father’s Day:

From: President Barack Obama
The White House, Washington

Hi, everyone —

Today, I’m thinking about all the dads across the country, spending time with family and loved ones — and especially those fathers serving our country overseas, who can’t be home with their kids today.

But I’m also thinking about all the young people out there who don’t have a dad in their lives at all — or who don’t always enjoy the opportunities and support that come with having strong role models.

It reminds me why we started the “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative in the first place: because we need to do more to help young people go as far as their dreams and hard work will take them, no matter what they look like or where they grow up.

I know I’m only here because people took a chance on me, and believed in me when I didn’t always believe in myself. And I want to give more kids that chance. It’s an all-hands-on-deck effort, from the folks on my staff — to you.

You can invest in our young people, and help them be successful. You can commit to doing it right now.

Make a pledge to mentor a young person in your community here.

For me, this is personal.

And for millions of young Americans around the country, it just might be life-changing.

Thank you — and Happy Father’s Day.

President Barack Obama

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The White House • 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW • Washington, DC 20500 • 202-456-1111


From: joachim omolo ouko
News Dispatch with Father Omolo Beste

Judy from Westlands, Nairobi writes: “Fr Beste you are a real journalist. Imagine I was not aware that Pope Francis appointed commission team to look into sex abuse by priests. Honestly I must admit that I am very ignorant. I didn’t even know that in USA there is a seminary for widowers and divorcees. Your news blog in an aye opener to many of us-please Beste continue with this noble apostolate.

Fr Beste, what do you think, with this commission can Pope allow priests to marry since sex abuse is becoming too much? I think this abuse can only stop when priests will be allowed to marry. They are human beings and need to be with wives like other men.”

Thank you for your sentiments Judy. Yes, Pope Francis in March this year appointed a team of 8 commissioners to confront an issue that has shaken the church for decades now. The team includes Marie Collins, who was sexually abused by a cleric in the 1960s and is a leading campaigner on the issue in Ireland.

Others are Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley, who spearheaded that city’s response to the problem. Poland’s former prime minister, a prominent British psychologist and an expert in canon law. The panel has only advisory power and cannot dictate to the pope what he must do even though he has been speaking about reform in the Roman Catholic Church.

The sexual-abuse scandal has cost the church billions of dollars in settlements with victims and hurt church attendance, particularly in the U.S. and Ireland, where the largest number of cases have emerged. In many cases, priests found to have abused children were moved from parish to parish rather than turned over to civil authorities.

Last month, a United Nations committee issued a harsh report criticizing the Holy See for allowing such priests to escape punishment. It said that tens of thousands of children around the world had suffered sexual abuse by priests.

According to the Vatican, the new committee will only consider guidelines on disciplining priests who have abused children, training new clerics to prevent future cases and caring for the victims of abuse and has got nothing to do with allowing priests to marry. Pope Francis has made clear that the church must hold the protection of minors amongst her highest priorities.

Sheila Hollins, a professor of psychiatry in the U.K. who has studied the problem and has participated in church-sponsored panels on the questions of child abuse, is a member, as is Father Humberto Miguel Yanez, a Jesuit priest who is a longtime associate of Pope Francis in Argentina and is a prominent theologian there.

P. Hans Zollner, a German national who is a licensed psychologist and is vice rector of the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome as well as Claudio Papale, an expert in canon law, are members, as is French child psychologist Catherine Bonnet. With the new group, the pope has made it clear that this issue is a priority for him.

Judy, I don’t think sex abuse by clergy should be reason for allowing priests to marry. You have heard cases where married pastors abuse women sexually. Engaging in sex abuse is because somebody goes out and does it. It’s far more subtle than that. The seeds of adultery or fornication are planted in the mind of individuals.

That is why it did not matter whether you are married or not. People have affairs with married women or children because they have allowed themselves to consider it that way. That’s all. Some do it because they are addicted to sex.

They are in the state of behavior outside the boundaries of social norms which reduces an individual’s ability to function efficiently in general routine aspects of life or develop healthy relationships.

Fr Joachim Omolo Ouko, AJ
Tel +254 7350 14559/+254 722 623 578
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Kenya: Deploring Death of Teenage Kenyan FGM Victim, Clitoraid Urges Kenya’s Health Ministry to Open a Clitoral Restoration Hospital and Eliminate Female Genital Mutilation

From: News Release – African Press Organization (APO)

Deploring Death of Teenage Kenyan FGM Victim, Clitoraid Urges Kenya’s Health Ministry to Open a Clitoral Restoration Hospital and Eliminate Female Genital Mutilation

Clitoraid helps FGM victims obtain restorative surgery to reverse FGM effects

NAIROBI, Kenya, April 23, 2014/ — Following the tragic death of a 13-year old Kenyan girl who underwent female genital mutilation (FGM) last Monday, an organization that helps FGM victims obtain restorative surgery to reverse FGM effects, is urging Kenyan Health Secretary James Macharia to open Kenya’s first clitoral repair hospital.


Photo: (Clitoraid Communications Director Nadine Gary)

“FGM reversal surgery, which restores clitoral functioning, is a powerful deterrent to the barbaric, cruel and dangerous practice of female genital mutilation,” said Clitoraid ( Communications Director Nadine Gary. “Why do something so unpleasant and painful when the results can easily be undone?”

[See “before and after” pictures of clitoral reversal surgery, courtesy of Clitoraid’s volunteer head surgeon, Dr. Marci Bowers, at: ]

Clitoraid, which is in the final stages of opening a state-of-the-art clitoral repair clinic in Burkina Faso, also organized a humanitarian mission in Bobo Dioulasso last month in which 38 FGM patients recovered clitoral function.

“Four American volunteer doctors traveled to Burkina Faso to do those surgeries, and thanks to them, those 38 patients will now enjoy their lives as complete women,” Gary said. “The same humanitarian mission must be organized in Kenya without delay. Countless FGM victims have written to us from Kenya, and they’re begging us to provide the service in Kenya. They need our help to regain their sense of dignity and their capacity for physical pleasure.”

Gary said her organization has written to James Macharia offering to come and train a Kenyan surgeon to do the clitoral repair procedure free of charge if he or she is willing to learn the technique.

Noting that a pan-African FGM conference organized by Burkina Faso’s First Lady, Chantal Compaore, will be held April 24-26 in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, Gary said Clitoraid is looking forward to the event.

“We’re looking forward to presenting our humanitarian project for Kenya at that gathering,” she said. “No time should be wasted, since we must act at once to save lives!”

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Clitoraid.

Media contact:
Abibata Sanon

About Clitoraid:

Clitoraid ( is an international non-profit organization offering clitoral repair surgery to FGM victims.



From: joachim omolo ouko
News Dispatch with Father Omolo Beste

Responding to my article where Wilfred from Mujwa, Meru, Kenya wanted to know whether Mary Magdalene was a prostitute, and whether Jesus had sexual relationship with her, John Robert writes via Facebook:

“In one of the recent sermons in church, the pastor talked of Post Modernity, that is, the tendency of the modern generation to think beyond the limits as provided in the Holy Bible and effort to try and provide certain answers to unclear and controversial circumstances.

I always think religion is all about unquestionable belief whose practicability can never be found in the modern world. It therefore my opinion that as Christians, we take everything as it is in the Bible lest the religion loses its meaning to us and we get lost into this world. Thank you Father”.

John Robert has raised a very important issue. This is the worry of some preachers today. Rev Fr Gabriel Atieno Okinyo from Homa Bay Catholic Diocese raised the concern recently during the home coming mass of Rev Fr Collins Omondi Odiero at Ng’owu sub parish, Ojolla parish.

In his homily based on holiness and holy things, Fr Okinyo said that digital era is almost over powering religious faith. He argued that in digital era people are slowly losing the meaning of Holy Mass and church in general, saying that instead of participating in mass some people are busy twiting and charting on Facebook.

What must not be denied however, is that social media is now part and parcel of everyone’s life. Social media has made people come together. Today, most young age people right form the age 12 are socializing getting away from there studies. Young generation prefer to socializing than going out to have some physical exercises.

Pollster and researcher George Barna writes that those born between 1984 and 2002 constitute the millennial generation. They are called millennials because they came of age at the beginning of the new millennium. They are “digital natives” who have always had access to cable or satellite TV and cellphones.

They have no memory of life without the Internet. A recent publication notes that “‘for Millennials, everything begins and ends with social connections’” and that “80-90 percent . . . uses social media.”

Millennials enjoy working collaboratively and 75 percent say they would like to have a mentor! They are open to new experiences and have transcended some of the barriers of previous generations. They have a great appreciation for diversity, and among them, interracial friendships, dating, and marriage are unexceptional.

The good news is that most young people still maintain their faith and like going to church. A Gallup poll in 2000 found that about one-quarter of people ages 18 through 29 read the Bible weekly — about half the rate of those 65 or older.

Over the past three years, the percentage of those who are skeptics or agnostics toward the Bible has almost doubled, up from 10 percent in 2011 to 19 percent in 2014. Skeptics are defined as those believing that the Bible is just another book of stories and teachings written by men.

From the adults who say they increased their Bible reading, 26 percent said it was because they downloaded the Bible onto their smartphone or tablet. Another 10 percent said that watching The Bible TV miniseries spurred them to read their Bibles.

Although for some the use of social media in every waking hour is considered a time waster or an ‘on the side’ business tool, for the younger generations social media has been easily adopted as a multi tasking communication time saver.

We must also accept that in history methods of communication have shifted from the quill to the biro pen, from telegram to phone calls, from letter to email. Now social media is the foundation of communication for the next generation. In order to do business with them you will need to join them.

Fr Joachim Omolo Ouko, AJ
Tel +254 7350 14559/+254 722 623 578
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The State of the World’s Children 2014 In Numbers: Every Child Counts

From: Yona Maro

The State of the World’s Children 2014 In Numbers: Every Child Counts highlights the critical role data and monitoring play in realizing children’s rights. Credible data, disseminated effectively and used correctly, make it possible to target interventions that help right the wrong of exclusion. Data do not, of themselves, change the world. They make change possible – by identifying needs, supporting advocacy, gauging progress and holding duty bearers to account. Making the possible real is up to decision makers.

Yona Fares Maro
Institut d’études de sécurité – SA

Father Omolo Beste’s Homily on Third Sunday of Lent

From: joachim omolo ouko
Sunday, March 23, 2014

Last week we discussed challenges facing families in Kenya today. The theme for this week is ‘Unity for Peace and Development’. The author uses the story of Mawiano Primary School to demonstrate how the Kenyan society suffers from identity formation. The first reading is taken from Exodus 17:3-7, second reading from Romans 5:1-2.5-8 and the Gospel from John 4:5-42.

One of the key drivers of conflict in Kenya as the author describes is the dimension of community identities – which is in itself closely related to the issue of land, borders and associated historical grievances – plus a challenging regional security environment and political transition.

Although the primary and key player in solving this conflict is the family by teaching children as the author recommends, the fact that most conflicts occur in our families in front of our children it is difficult for parents to teach their children about peace and conflict management.

It is also a very difficult task for Schools, Churches and other social settings to be used as a platform of educating our children and all people the need to unite at all levels and live in peaceful environment.

It is very unfortunate that most of our families today, domestic violence has become the order of the day. Children who grow up in violence family or being abused usually grow up in poor health, low self-esteem, difficulty sleeping.

Some children may indulge in drug and alcohol abuse risk, isolation, suicidal thoughts, and extreme loneliness and fear. Children are mainly affected from verbal abuse. This is where the father use aggressive actions such as name-calling the mother, blaming her, ridiculing her, disrespect, and criticism.

Whichever way, whether the father or mother using the same actions towards the father, or both. That is towards children abuse as well. Some long term effects on a child who comes from an abusive household, or have been abused themselves are guilt, anger, depression/anxiety, shyness, nightmares, disruptiveness, irritability, and problems getting along with others.

This brings us to challenging questions:

1. As parents, community and the Church how do we help our children to acquire positive values and appreciate the different ethnic communities in Kenya?

2. What can we do as a family, Small Christian Community, the Church or a community to promote unity as a national value begging with our families?

3. What are some of the actions that can be done at Small Christian Community, Parish, Dioceses and National levels to promote unity, patriotism, and peace in Kenya and our families?

Answer these questions keeping in mind that some cases of domestic violence occur due to jealousy when one partner is either suspected of being unfaithful. It can also be seen in a situation where one partner is doing better than the other. For example: the woman being more successful than the husband.

Some violence occurs when one partner has control over the other partner’s access to economic resources, preventing a spouse from resource acquisition. Some because of physical force to compel a person to engage in a sexual act against his or her will, also known as marital rape.

Another type of violence is expected to occur now that men’s tyranny of numbers in parliament has proposed amendments on marriage bill 2013. The amendment requires that a man should not ask his wife if he decides to marry another wife.

Already in Kenya women sometimes only find out at their husband’s funeral that he had secretly married a second wife and had children with her, leading to inheritance disputes. The bill provides for a certificate to be issued when such marriages take place.

Fr Joachim Omolo Ouko, AJ
Tel +254 7350 14559/+254 722 623 578
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Tanzania: Dual citizenship: Why should a child decide between its two nations?

From: Abdalah Hamis

The United Republic of Tanzania is preparing a new constitution which will be approved (or not) by a referendum. On the 30th of December 2013 the Commission ‘Tume ya Mabadiliko ya Katiba’ presented the second draft of a new constitution to the President Jakaya Kikwete in Dar es Salaam.

One question of importance for our families and many others is how the new constitution will handle the issue of dual citizenship.

With great disappointment did we read that the new constitution is at this stage not bringing any change to the question of dual citizenship, which means it is simply not granted to anyone.

With this open letter to the Members of the Constituent Assembly, who are expected to discuss the draft and will be able to push for changes, we want to expound why we think that a provision for dual citizenship is needed in the some cases.

Ties to multiple nations are no longer an uncommon situation. A good number of Tanzanians of multinational descent have been able to use their status in search of further education, better opportunities in business and social services. It is estimated that more than two million Tanzanians live in foreign countries. For those born with multiple nationalities, the choice of which to choose, may lie with which nationality provides them with better opportunities to grow and learn, yet this logical decision does not mean that their love for Tanzania has diminished. Many would like to contribute to the development of their home country by leveraging the expertise in various areas gained through formal education and work experience and their good knowledge of Tanzania.

Let us present to you the case of a Tanzanian son and of Andrea Cordes, one of the authors of this letter, and the dilemma he will be facing because of the non-provision of dual-citizenship: Ilyas, born in Dar es Salaam in 2009 as the child of a Tanzanian and German citizen would be, according to current law, in the situation to decide, once 18, whether he wants to keep his Tanzanian or his German nationality. Please read that once more: he has to decide whether he keeps the nationality of his father or his mother. He has to decide to which of the two nations, which are both part of him, he wants to belong by citizenship.

Look at this picture, literally it speaks what Ilyas represents: one part is Tanzanian, one part is German: 1-1.

[image; child running;]

So we ask you: Is this really a situation that children should face because parents moved across boarders? Should they miss the opportunity to contribute as a citizen to the development of their nation?

African countries are continuously reaching out to their diaspora and multinational citizens to contribute to their economic, political and social development. If Tanzanians intend on seeking the contribution of our citizens, let us also allow them the privilege to keep the nationality of their homeland, while they represent us and their personal interests elsewhere as well. Dual nationality in this age of mobility is relevant. The world is no longer one of single identities. We marry, reproduce, live, learn and work across borders. By no means does dual citizenship mean they love Tanzania any less, but forcing one to divide their own identity into separate parts is no longer an easy task. There is little for us to lose, as a nation, from allowing global citizens to keep Tanzania as part of their identity.

Children born with multinational background are the sons and daughters of Tanzania and the respective other country.

Which risks are there to grant children dual citizenship of both nations they belong to? We don’t see any. If as grown-up person they would decide to serve in the national service, to take a political office, yes in these cases maybe regulations should be in place to go for a single citizenship. But these kinds of regulations can be put in place, just as the right to dual citizenship.

Therefore we are asking you as the Members of the Constituent Assembly to push for necessary adjustments in the constitution so that these children are able to keep their origins by citizenship. Because in the end they will always be the sons and daughters of both nations!

Written in the United States of America and Germany by Sia Chami and Andrea Cordes

Stop Violence Against Girls in School: Success Stories

From: Yona Maro

Every day millions of girls in Africa and across the world see their rights violated, without having the opportunity to express themselves or be heard, either because they are children or simply because they are female, and as a result they are constrained into submission both to men and wider society, as dictated by “morality” and patriarchal culture.

One of the single most important opportunities that could lead to their independence – education – is also denied to them, as families do not prioritize their children’s education, much less that of girls. Moreover, laws, policies and regulations, in general tend not to safeguard girls’ rights and even when they do they are not properly implemented.

On countless occasions, girls are accused of or blamed for the violence they experience, and are often held responsible for the consequences of the violence of which they are victims, on the pretext that they should have done something to avoid it, or should have avoided doing whatever it was that provoked the violence.

In this document, you will also find stories told by the girls themselves (from Ghana, Kenya and Mozambique) about how they have been able to challenge the deeply-rooted culture of violence in all sections of society, and how the community-level work helped to promote changes in legislation, policy, school regulations and harmful practices at home and in the wider community. The collection of strategies and windows into the lives of girls and their communities that make up this document are worth reading, as they will undoubtedly inspire you to help thousands of girls whose rights continue to be denied across the African continent and indeed, the wider world.

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From: Ouko joachim omolo
The News Dispatch with Omolo Beste

The parish priest of Blessed Sacrament, Oriang Catholic Church in Homa Bay Diocese said on Sunday that the high cost of living in Kenya is to blame for rise of suicides cases. Delivering his homily based on the feast of holy family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, Rev Fr Christopher Wasonga said urgent action is needed to address the situation.

Father Wasonga was referring to recent media reports where a husband went berserk in Mai Mahiu, Naivasha killing his wife before taking his life as his children watched. The man in his late 50s committed suicide by hanging himself in his bedroom, hours after strangling his wife.

The man was said to be a sand harvester had earlier quarreled with the mother of four resulting in a fight. In the bizarre incident, the man was rescued by his two children after he tried to hang himself only to later on lock himself and take his life.

The Father also referred to an incident in Homa Bay where a man killed his family members and then committed suicide in Rodi Kopany Township of Homa Bay County. John Otieno, 40, killed his wife Linda Ochieng, 25, and two children before hanging himself at their rental house.

Otieno, whose original home is in Lela village, Migori County, was living in Rodi Kopany, where he sold clothes for a living. According to the Otieno’s mother, Consolata Otieno, her son and daughter-in-law had not quarrelled and she could not tell what prompted the killings.

He also mentioned the case where a woman, 27, killed her three children, seriously injured a fourth one and then took her own life at Matulo village in Siritanyi on the outskirts of Bungoma town.

Also in Vihiga where a 38-year-old man hanged himself in his sitting room and his wife hospitalised at Mukumu Mission hospital with grave injuries.

The deceased, Kevin Bunali, had four children both orphaned now as their two mothers had passed on earlier. He worked as a carpenter.

The wife, 25-year-old Judith Deizo, who is hospitalised, was his third wife and has no child with him. Since they got married earlier last year (2012), there has been no peace in that house as they have been fighting each other often.

Father Wasonga also referred to a case in a village in Uasin Gishu County where a man went berserk and killed his two children before committing suicide over a domestic dispute.

Julius Yego, 36, killed his two sons Franklin Cheruyiot, and Eliud Kipkoech aged 4 and 2 years respectively after a fight with his wife Damaris Yego. Confirming the incident, Eldoret West OCPD Ndung’u wa Ikonya said man after the heinous act hanged himself while the wife managed to escape.

During the mass attended by all Oriang family members from all outstations, Father Wasona also introduced Rev Sr Janet Owuor of Camilian missionary sisters from Oriang, Nyasore center who was celebrating her thanks giving mass after her final vows which took place on December 7, 2013 in Karen, presided over by Homa Bay Diocese, Bishop Philip Anyolo.

Just as Father Wasonga was deeply concerned, majority of Kenyans are optimistic that 2014 will be a lot better than 2013. According to a new survey, 21 per cent of Kenyans say 2013 was a “generally bad year”, with 7 per cent describing it as a “terrible year”.

Overall, this year was most disappointing to residents of Nairobi County, with 17 per cent of those polled describing 2013 as “terrible”. This assessment is partly attributable to the high cost of living in the city, which residents list at the top of their issues of concern.

Economically, there were disappointments too, owing to strikes involving teachers and doctors. And the fire at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in August which destroyed investments and lives of many families as did the terror attack at the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, a month later.

Meanwhile, the question of unemployment remains a source of headache more to residents of Coast and Western regions at 60 and 58 per cent, with their counterparts in Central (39 per cent) least concerned with the challenge.

Jubilee said it would create jobs for young generations, but to the surprise Present Uhuru Kenyatta shocked Kenyans by recycling old losers in politics by recent appointments. This is indeed a political suicide.

Jubilee is on the process of retrenching civil servants. When this happens many children will not be able to go to school because their retrenched parents will not be able to cater for their school fees and basic needs.

Unless the amendments to the Finance Act of 2012, which introduced a 10 per cent excise duty on transaction fees for financial as well money transfer services are not made, many Kenyans are going to suffer a great deal.

Most young people graduate from school and there is no immediate system to accommodate them, this result into hopelessness and at times misery resulting in suicides.

Yet suicide in Kenya is not openly discussed, one it is treated as a criminal offence. The survivors of a suicide attempt end up in jail instead of a correctional mental facility. Where the individual managed to kill him or others too, the people close to the victim may refuse to report the case to government agencies for fear of being victimised or charged.

Yet still, suicide has taken a new trend in Kenya where teenagers between 13-15 years have increasingly resorted to it following what they term as failure in the national exams. This leaves them feeling worthless, depressed and incompetent.

For example, when the 2011 KCPE results were announced, the media reported several incidences of candidates who resorted to suicide when they did not perform as anticipated.

Family dysfunction such as divorce and separation also affects young people’s response to issues in life. Most of the young people who commit suicide do it with the mindset that they are punishing their parents.

Fr Joachim Omolo Ouko, AJ
Tel +254 7350 14559/+254 722 623 578
Facebook-omolo beste

Real change must come from ordinary people who refuse to be taken hostage by the weapons of politicians in the face of inequality, racism and oppression, but march together towards a clear and unambiguous goal.
-Anne Montgomery, RSCJ
UN Disarmament
Conference, 2002


From: Ouko joachim omolo
The News Dispatch with Omolo Beste

Dutch bishops visiting Rome this week told Pope Francis that about two-thirds of all Roman Catholic churches in the Netherlands would have to be shut or sold by 2025. In the Netherlands, churches have been closing at a rate of one or two a week.

Although the bishops five-yearly report blamed a “drastic secularization” of society, a critical group of Dutch lay Catholics said the scandal of sexual abuse of minors by priests, which has afflicted many Catholic dioceses around the world, had also driven many people away, as had the closures themselves.

According to independent inquiry, tens of thousands of children were abused by priests over decades, a scandal that has not only forced the church in Netherlands to apologize but also have paid large sums of money in damages.

This has resulted to more than 23,000 Catholics quit the Dutch Church in 2010, the peak of an exodus in which an average 18,000 have left each year since 2006. This year alone about 7,500 had left by October.

Despite sex scandals, Netherlands is one of the most secular countries in Western Europe. This has affected both the Roman Catholic Church and the Protestant church in the Netherlands.

However, not all religious groups are affected by decreasing church attendance. Evangelical groups in particular are enjoying an increase in interest. Since the 60’s, this growth has been due to a faith directed towards person and experience, modern views and a business orientated mode of practice.

Muslims are also not affected. Since the mid 1970’s, Islam has seen a growing emergence in the public domain and it is spreading steadily.

Fr Joachim Omolo Ouko, AJ
Tel +254 7350 14559/+254 722 623 578
Facebook-omolo beste

Real change must come from ordinary people who refuse to be taken hostage by the weapons of politicians in the face of inequality, racism and oppression, but march together towards a clear and unambiguous goal.

-Anne Montgomery, RSCJ
UN Disarmament
Conference, 2002