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UNDUGU SOCIETY OF KENYA

Living the promise

CHILDREN OF UNDUGU

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These girls fall into this predicament because they are still young and naive. They continue keeping the company of these men who influence them to abuse alcohol or hard drugs, rendering them too frequently intoxicated to take their children to the hospital. It is very important for babies and children to receive vaccinations at different stages of their early life. These injections protect the child from diseases and disabilities.

Once a child develops a disability, many mothers lock them up in their houses because of the shame they feel and the stigma they are subjected to when other people see their children. Some mothers provide basic needs to these children and take them for therapy while others do not. They take their children to government hospitals or to children’s homes which offer therapy for free or at a low price. These children’s homes include: Feed the Children and Nyumbani (for children who are HIV positive). It is a common belief in the area that disability is passed from one generation to the other.

On the other hand even children without disabilities face challenges such as being forced to take Piriton, a sleeping pill that should be sold on prescription, so as to send them to sleep as their mothers frequent the clubs. Some of these mothers go to the club 5 times a week. When the mothers return home in the morning, they sleep till lunch time and do not give their children breakfast or lunch. At some point, the Piriton affects the children and it gives them a running stomach. Some of the children are taken to the hospital while others are not. Some become so dehydrated that their eyes become white. Some concerned neighbours report such cases to the mothers of these children and at times the mothers do not care. Eventually, when the child is taken to the hospital, they are already in a such poor health that sometimes they pass on.

Other mothers lock their children in the house in order to go to the club or to look for commercial sex clients. In one case, a mother had locked her two children in their house so she could go out with friends. The house then caught fire mysteriously and these children died in the fire. Children need to be cared for and protected because they are a gift from God.