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Children in rehabilitation schools and parents get trained on life skills and coping mechanisms

30th November, 2021 - 36 children from Kirigiti and Kabete Rehabilitation Schools, successfully completed a month-long Life Skills Training Course held from 25th October 2021 to 25th November 2021. This is part of the project Preventing Violent Extremism through Rehabilitation, Vocational Training and Social Reintegration in children’s statutory institutions in Kenya funded by the Government of Canada

The training culminated in a colourful graduation ceremony that took place on Friday 26th November 2021 at Kabete Boys Rehabilitation School. The children were presented with certificates of accomplishment in the presence of their parents. The training was conducted by UNODC in collaboration with the Directorate of Children Services.

During the training, the children were taken through various modules including: self - awareness, conflict management and decision-making skills, among others.  To promote successful reintegration, their parents also went through a two-day exercise on the various steps that the children pass through in the child justice system. The training was facilitated by a police officer, children’s magistrate, children’s officer, clinical psychologist and child justice specialists.

A family discussion was also held on 8th and 9th November 2021. The session was deemed insightful for the parents who discovered their own weaknesses and pledged to work on them for the sake of the children. A recap meeting with the parents on 25th November 2021, clearly indicated that they had changed their attitudes, learnt new skills and had better knowledge on how the child justice system works. They were also able to cascade this information to their neighbours. For instance, one parent reported to have assisted in a case of a truant child, by directing her to the nearest children officer for counselling.

The parents also received parenting advice, thereby preventing the child from entering the child justice system. As a result, parents were then able to form region-based support groups. These groups will be attached to the nearest children office who will act as their coordinator. The purpose of the groups is to offer moral support to each other. For example, if a parent is visiting their child and another is not able, they will do so on their behalf and visit the two or three children at the same time. It is also a forum where they can advise one another in matters concerning their children as well as in parenting issues. The parents will be able to serve as educators in their own communities to prevent other children from entering the child justice system. 

The life skills training culminated in organisational visits whereby the children were able to spend half a day at work in an organisation and a business premise, courtesy of Vivo Energy and Shell petrol stations in Karen, and Nairobi School of Cosmetology.  At the Shell petrol station, the boys were able to experience activities at the service bay as they gleefully identified the machines that UNODC had provided for their automotive workshop, and how they were being used in a work environment. 

The girls on the other hand, spent the day as clients and staff interchangeably at the Nairobi School of Cosmetology. They learnt about customer service and good public relations in addition to fashion and beauty industry practical skills.

In collaboration with the government and other agencies, the Deputy Officer Commanding Police Division (OCPD) of Lari Division, Assistant Superintendent of Police Charles Opondo, encouraged parents to continue guiding their children and value them since they are an integral part of society. Mr. Opondo emphasised the need for special focus on children’s education and talent development as part of ensuring that children do not collide with the justice system. 


For more information, please contact: 

Ms. Charity Kagwi –   

Head of the Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Programme

UNODC Regional Office for Eastern Africa