Our Esteemed Guests from Zimbabwe,

Rev. Fathers and Sisters,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

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I am very honoured to have been asked to come and close this very important workshop concerning Child Safety and Protection Programme.

First and foremost I take this opportunity, on behalf of the KCCB, to thank the team from Zimbabwe for honouring us with a visit. We appreciate this manifestation of trust and friendship. We hope you will enjoy the remaining days of your visit, especially in Malindi.

I am informed that the Kenyan participants comprising Catholic priests, Religious sisters and lay faithful are all well trained Trainers in matters of Child Safety and Protection drawn from across all Arch/ Dioceses and that you have been sensitizing and training significant stakeholders in children’s wellbeing.

I sincerely thank you for choosing to work for and with children on the sensitive area of Child Abuse. Sexual abuse of children and indeed of adults touches that which damages the very essence of the dignity and sacredness of the human person.

Helping the most vulnerable is at the heart of the Christian mission “…whatever you did for the one of these least of mine, you did it to me’’ (Matthew 25:40); “Whoever receives one of these in my name receives me…”  (John… ) .

The Catholic Church in Kenya is very committed to the issues of child safety and protection as shown in its Policy and Procedures concerningsafeguarding children (2011).

This is because, as Christians, we are called to promote and protect the dignity of the human life from conception to natural death. Life is sacred and gift from God. Child abuse, in any form, destroys the core of the human life. It is worse in all forms of child abuse.

Child abuse often leads to:

  • Poor self-image
  • Inability to form stable relationships even as adults
  • Poor performance in school
  • Abuse of drugs
  • Depression and
  • Suicide, among others.

 

We have to ensure that as many children as possible are safe from these vices, moreso, those who are in our educational institutions and parishes.

As you go back to your Dioceses, and for our visitors from Zimbabwe as you continue ensuring that children in schools, homes and in the neighbourhood are safe, I call upon all of us to always remember the following:

  • God created the human person as good and holy
  • God loves people and wants them to be safe and feel secure, more so, the children who are innocent and vulnerable.
  • Every person has the right and responsibility to care for themselves as well to protect and respect others.
  • God wants people to make loving choices
  • Children can learn to distinguish between persons who provide a genuine sense of safety and those who want to sexually abuse them through trickery
  • Children can learn to distinguish between loving and harmful words and touch
  • Children can learn how to protect themselves from sexual abuse

Yours is to ensure that children learn to protect themselves from all forms of abuse. You have the capacity, the skills and knowledge you have acquired from previous and this workshop, to enable children protect themselves and make parents and teachers to become protectors of children.

We all have a God-given responsibility as Christians to ensure that it should never hurt to be a child by protecting children from all forms of abuse.

I conclude with the prayer of St. Paul to the Philippians“Finally, brothers and sisters whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, and whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Keep on doing what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me. Then the God of peace will be with you’’ (Philippians 4:8-9)AMEN! 

I wish you God’s blessing, courage and wisdom in the great work you are doing. Be assured of our prayers and support.

I now declare this workshop officially closed.

 

 

Rev. Fr. Daniel Rono

Deputy General Secretary

KCCB – GENERAL SECRETARIAT

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