Their warm smiles, genuine love and innocence melt even the hardest of hearts. Their small talk and play in the evening light up many households across the globe. Still, in children a society sees its future and offer hope of continuity if not prosperity.
Without children, there can be no humanity or talk of any kind of progress for any nation. Indeed, countries with low birth rates are often worried about their future.
Children are among the most vulnerable during any kind of upheaval, including a pandemic. They are susceptible to vile attacks from adults, including their parents and those close to them. The adults could vent their frustrations, hopelessness, fear and depression on the young souls. That is why society must lay down measures to protect the most vulnerable children from unseen effects of life’s challenges.
In the last few days, eight children have been killed in bizarre circumstances that lend credence to the devastation the coronavirus restrictions have had on Kenyan society. Last week, a mother in Naivasha allegedly strangled to death four children and left a chilling note, detailing how she had lost her job and could no longer take care of them.
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That must be the highest level of frustration a mother went through to the extent of killing her own babies. In West Pokot, a man is fighting for his life in hospital after allegedly killing his two children, their mother and setting their house ablaze. In Athi River, two bodies of children were discovered in a car which was parked in a police station. These horrifying incidents indicate how vulnerable our children have become today.
Still, cases of sexual violation and abuse are on the rise as are cases of teen pregnancies across the 47 counties. This demonstrates how girls have become prey during pandemic when movement restrictions and other containment measures are in place. It seems sexual predators are on the prowl. Cases of missing children have also been reported, meaning kidnappings are on the rise.
Many gated communities in Nairobi, Mombasa and other towns have issued stern warnings to parents and guardians to be more vigilant.
Finally, it takes a community to raise a child. Let all of us protect children from danger. The government, which has a bigger mandate, can only do so much.