Child Protection Impact Stories Kenya COVID-19

COVID-19: Safe At Home

Written by Samuel Gamusa on Sep 28, 2020 5:32:31 PM

Ann NdululuAnn Ndululu is a 14-year-old sponsored child who started the year in high spirits and looked forward to transitioning to her new school. Mumbuni Girls Boarding School is a prestigious school in Machakos County that attracts the best students who usually perform well in their national examinations. Ann emerged as the best girl pupil in her elementary school last year.

Ann says, “The joy of joining a boarding school and moving away from home to stay alone among peers, was beyond words. My parents also bought me new stuff like uniforms, shoes, bedding and many others, which would make my life easier in the new environment. I will never forget the day… when I was admitted to the school and I began attending classes.”
Hardly a month had passed before Kenya recorded its first COVID-19 case. As part of the containment measures adopted by the government, all institutions were closed and Ann’s school was not spared. “I remember our teachers tell-ing us about the deadly Corona Virus and as a result our par-ents had been notified to come and pick us up,” she says. “I felt dejected, as I had just started to get acquainted with the new life. And as we left the compound, I knew it would be a matter of weeks before we could get back...months later it seems things are getting worse and the idea of even going back to board appears scary,” she says.
child-protection-2Ann (L) spends family devotion time with her (L to R) brother Shadrack,
mother and brother Denis. Helping care for their well-being provides
support to her mother during the COVID pandemic.
Parents suddenly found themselves with their children at home and the possibility of staying with them for a long time was real. World Vision rolled out the COVID-19 Emergency Response Plan to teach the parents and communities about child protection issues that were likely to emerge as a result of the tough economic times.

Margaret Matheka, World Vision Kenya Community Engage-ment and Sponsorship Project Coordinator says, “During the COVID-19 response forums, we not only sensitized the com-munity on the importance of adherence to Ministry of Health safety protocols, but also on child protection issues that were likely to emerge, like child neglect, teen pregnancies and child labor. The community was taught how to deal with such incidences including the reporting mechanisms.”

For now, Ann is happy to be home and helps her mother Win-fred Ndunge, 39, care for her two younger siblings Denis, 10, and Shadrack, 3. She follows the safety protocols on social distancing, hand washing and wearing a mask that she learned from World Vision.

Ann was a Bible Club leader at her primary school. Through World Vision’s Spiritual Nurture Program, Ann attended many Christian trainings. During the short stay at high school, she joined the Christian Union Club. She says, “I have foundational knowledge about reliance on God and during this tough time, I do not panic, but I have made it duty to study God’s word and pray with my family, to seek his counsel and guidance as we hope for his divine intervention during this pandemic.” Ann concludes, “I am grateful for what World Vision has done for me and my family. Someday when school reopens again, I hope to continue to pursue my dream of becoming a surgeon.”