Elders have urged parents to play an active role in shaping the character of their children in the face of shocking crime waves and Gender-Based Violence (GBV).
As the December festivities start, the Kikuyu Council of Elders warned parents against handing over their children to inexperienced youths for care after circumcision.
This follows recurring tragedies, where boys undergoing the rite of passage have lost their lives, been assaulted and mistreated while under seclusion.
Speaking to the press in Subukia, the council’s national vice chairman Muraya Gachuhi urged the parents to revert to traditions, saying this was the only way to raise well-mentored teens.
“It is our hope that this year we won’t lose any boy under the disguise of being transformed into a man by ruthless youth. Elders are the safest and right people to take care of them,” said Muraya.
Molo and Njoro are among the areas where incidents of violence towards initiates have been reported.
Elder Peter Mwanjo, who is in charge of culture in Subukia, says that poor mentorship is what results in youth engaging in crime.
“This is the right time to begin teaching them life values and healthy relationships,” said Mwanjo.
The elders called on the county governments to establish cultural centers across the sub-counties saying that most constituencies lack the facilities to host the initiates.
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Aszed Wendo, the executive director at Dandelion Africa, which fights GBV in Baringo and Nakuru counties said that the statistics of victims in the country were worrying.
“We have managed to greatly reduce cases of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) which were rampant in the two sub-counties. Other forms of GBV are still a challenge,” said Wendo.