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