Help in Uniting Missing Children in Kenya with their Families

By Vera Shawiza / December 6, 2017



Five Steps to Follow When Your Child Goes Missing

While mobile phone penetration has increased significantly in Kenya, we still experience some challenges in terms of access to smart phones and internet connectivity for Kenyans in lower-income settlements and the rural inaccessible areas.

This means some families are not able to access information on their missing children using technological communication platforms, thus end up being separated with their loved ones due to lack of the best channel to use in passing the information out.

Around the world, an estimated 8 million children are living in orphanages, despite the fact that 80 percent of these children are not orphans. Some unscrupulous owners of children’s homes collect lost and found children and keep them, using them to attract donor funding without informing the authorities. In turn, this denies children who are being actively searched for by their families a chance of reunification.

This is why Missing Child Kenya (MCK), a community-led portal that works with organizations and individuals in the child protection sector and the public has embarked on a project to install MISSING CHILD NOTICE BOARDS (6ft by 32 inches) at high traffic public access areas (HUBS) to act as an information channel (SPOKES) for the surrounding areas.

The main aim of this project is to assist families that are seeking information on their lost children with a reference point for existing cases that have been already brought to the authorities within Kenya.

The project has brought forth a number of advantages including the following:

  1. Increased awareness on the issue of missing children.
  2. Immediate source of helpful information to worried and distraught parents.
  3. Important leads and referrals have arisen from the crowd sourcing approach of well-wishers and concerned citizens sharing our missing child posters.
  4. Proactive reports on missing children have increased.
  5. We have been able to document cold cases as far back as 5 years ago.
  6. Creation of a data bank to start observing patterns and trends with respect to ages, gender and hotspots (geographical locations).
  7. The poster format we use has also helped to educate and create awareness on how to report and share information about missing children in a manner that will yield result.
  8. Partnerships – A consolidated database with all record of missing children helps boost search and reunification process for all actors in the child protection sector.

 MCK endeavors to provide an all-weather aluminum casing notice board (6ft x 32”) with a lockable glass cover to specific HUBS across Kenya’s 47 counties and for the mission to be a success, they need financial support to scale this project. Email them on [email protected] to offer support.

 

Missing Child Kenya is a community user driven platform that works with organizations and individuals in the child protection sector and the public to help share information on missing children using various media platforms and increase search efforts at no cost to the affected families.

The Missing Child Kenya team provides free resources for the search of missing children between the ages of 0-18 while also offering psycho-social support to the affected family members.



About Vera Shawiza

Vera Shawiza is Soko Directory’s in-house journalist. Her zealous nature ensures that sufficient and relevant content is generated for the Soko Directory website and sourcing information from clients is easy as smooth sailing. Vera can be reached at: (020) 528 0222 or Email: [email protected]

View other posts by Vera Shawiza


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