Latest posts by Kimani Patrick (see all)
- The Why and How Of Developing a Reading Culture - February 20, 2018
- David Kyalo on #WhatItTakes: Giving Up Should Never Be An Option. - February 16, 2018
- One Child Gets Orphaned Every Two Minutes in Kenya - February 12, 2018
In Kenya, the situation of Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVCs) is an issue of concern. Currently it is estimated that there are over 3 million Orphans in the country, 47 percent orphaned as a result of HIV and AIDS and many more remain vulnerable due to several other factors. The statistics surrounding the rising population and the immense suffering of these children can be overwhelming.
Over 25% of the population lives on less than $1 per day and 12-15% of households in Kenya are headed by an orphan sibling. 700 children are orphaned every day (that is a child every 2 minutes) and 1/3 of these are orphaned due to HIV / AIDS. This means that the number of orphans is set to rise. Traumatized by the death of parents, at times the orphans become antisocial. The fact that these children do not have parents predisposes them to exploitation.
Valentine’s is a day where people express their love, care and affection. Optiven Foundation, the soft arm of the leading real estate firm, Optiven Group, is currently running a valentine campaign whose goal is to offer some basic yet very needful help to these children. God makes it clear in Psalm 82:3 that we are to “defend the weak and fatherless”.
The targeted home, Soweto Children’s Home has a population of 50 OVCs aged between 1 to 18yrs. The house they previously lived in was inhabitable which rendered them vulnerable to weather changes that exposed them to water borne and air borne diseases.
Optiven Foundation has taken the mandate of helping these children have a permanent home. They have partnered with their stakeholders, board of trustees, individuals, corporates and well-wishers to make their dream come true. The project has already commenced and shall take place in the first quarter of this year (2018).
Children affected by HIV/AIDS are vulnerable long before their parents die. Girls, in particular, assume caring responsibilities for their ailing parents besides parenting for their siblings.
In some regions of the country, over 25% of orphans are acutely malnourished in a country whose economy is largely driven by agriculture. With an economically weakened and overstretched traditional African extended family system that can no longer work effectively to address the high OVC burden, most children find themselves without proper social support with the incapacitation and death of their parents. The future of these children remains very unpredictable. This will deny the OVCs a chance to access their basic needs such as proper health care, education shelter and nutrition. Orphans suffer stigma, stress and trauma in addition to the loss of parental love, care and protection and more often they are disinherited by their next of kin.
Although awareness of the plight of orphans is growing, no country, including Kenya, has mounted the kind of response that is needed to match the severity of the crisis. The reasons include insufficient knowledge of the magnitude of the problem and the strength (or weakness) of existing coping strategies, lack of clarity on the advantages and disadvantages of possible interventions, limited capacity to implement interventions and scarce resources.
Optiven Foundation is passionately concerned about the plight of orphans in Kenya and we believe that as an organization, we have a divine responsibility to provide appropriate care and protection to all the OVCs by extending a hand of hope to them.
Optiven Foundation aims at being the manifestation of God’s caring grace and perfect love to OVCs in Kenya. We endeavor to shelter, clothe, feed, educate, disciple and support the children in an environment of family and community.
To participate in transforming and making a change in the children’s lives this valentine call Optiven Foundation on 0718 776033 or visit their website www.optivenfoundation.org
[We appeal to you to support this worthy cause]Top of Form