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Uncertainty mars plans to close Kisumu orphanages

By Mactilda Mbenywe | May 13th 2019

Kisumu Governor Anyang Nyongo. [Standard]

The fate of more than 1,000 orphans hangs in a balance after the department of Children Services announced plans to close orphanages before the end of the year.

Through the pilot implementation of Alternative Family Care Guidelines, 2014, by Unicef presented to the government, governor Anyang' Nyong'o's administration is seeking to integrate children in the 31 orphanages back to their relatives.

The department has trained advisory council members, duty bearers and social workers including the managers of the institutions on the integration process.

Alice Wanyonyi, the official in charge of Kisumu West and Kisumu Central, said they have been fast-tracking the process.

Ms Wanyonyi said there is an ongoing training of enumerators who will collect data on children and their families in preparation for integration.

“We are targeting to take the orphans back to their homes, the process will take sometime to be completed,” she said.

The guidelines for the alternative care of children was meant to enhance the current legal framework and existing practices for children without parental care and those at risk of being separated from their parents.

They were designed to assist and support Government and partners in the implementation of alternative care services.

The report stated that by 2014, Kenya had an estimated 16.5 million children below the age of 14 years.

A large number of these children are in need of urgent additional care and protection. There are an estimated 2.4 million orphans, of which 47 per cent are due to parental deaths as a result of AIDS.

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