The development of the child: a major challenge for Kenya

Kenya is a country in which 51% of the population is aged between 0-18 years old. Child poverty manifests itself in different ways. According to UNICEF figures, still 7.8 million children do not have access to safe drinking water and 5.3 million between six and 17 years old are deprived of a quality education. Access to education, play, health with vaccination, but also safe drinking water, are therefore UNICEF Kenya’s priorities for the years to come. All programmes have a minimum duration of three years.

Isiolo hospital – implementation of playground by UNICEF. Photo by Daniel Oloo.

Our visits continued to a dispensary, to Isiolo Hospital, and to Samburu Hospital, where we were welcomed by a health professional team. These health facilities have been equipped with playgrounds by UNICEF. It enables children who come to the hospital to have access to play. And that’s an opportunity for those who are in pain to forget it for the time of their visit. We learnt that the diseases that children most often suffer from are: poliomyelitis, malaria, diarrhoea, various fractures, pneumonia, HIV, as well as many cases of severe malnutrition (which are cured with high protein food supplements containing all the necessary vitamins).

Maralal ECD centre. LET’S PLAY TOGETHER! Photo by Daniel Oloo.

In the city of Samburu, we met children of the Maralal Early Childhood Development (ECD) centre and the Ngari ECD centre. We were accompanied by the governor of the county, his teams and UNICEF’s implementing partner, World Vision.

We did a lot of activities with the kids, like drawing, modelling clay, little memory games and outdoor games. Unique moments that will stay in my thoughts….

This county is one of the largest in Kenya and has now 470 ECD centres. We can emphasize that mums are also involved in the learning process, creating different play materials from tablecloths, curtains, kites) for the children.

We were able to attend a cooking session with a nutritionist, who comes to the village every month to explain to women how to use local plants to enjoy their nutritional benefits. This event creates a real energy in the village of Ngari. Women offered us traditional dances, songs and beautiful presents. Each of us received a typical Kenyan cloth and a pearl necklace made by them. What a nice surprise!

    Adiara Ly