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New phase of project to prevent violent extremism among children in conflict with the law begins in Kenya

Nairobi, 29 January 2021 - The second phase of a project to prevent violent extremism among children in selected statutory institutions in Kenya was officially launched yesterday by the Cabinet Secretary for the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection, Hon. Simon Chelugui.

Funded by the Government of Canada, the project will continue to address capacity gaps and recidivism among this vulnerable group through rehabilitation, vocational training and social reintegration initiatives.

During phase one from 2017 to 2018, UNODC worked with the Department of Children Services (DCS), as well as KEPSA and Clean Start, and identified various approaches to preventing violent extremism which were implemented by the partners at the Dagoretti and Kirigiti Girls Rehabilitation Schools.

During the launch meeting, Hon. Chelugui expressed his gratitude to Canada and UNODC for supporting the juvenile justice system through this important rehabilitation and reintegration project.

He reiterated the Ministry’s commitment through DCS in ensuring the success of phase two of the project which will again involve the Dagoretti and Kirigiti schools plus four more institutions: Kabete Boys Rehabilitation School, Wamumu Boys Rehabilitation school, Kakamega Rehabilitation School, and Likoni Boys Rehabilitation School.

Activities will include education and vocational training, life skills, mentorship, mental health and counselling, a Diversion Programmes Partnership with the community in social reintegration (collaborative approach in addressing crime) and family conferencing.

Deputy High Commissioner/Counsellor for Political and Public Affairs at the Canadian High Commission in Kenya, Mr. David Da Silva, restated Canada’s commitment to supporting and empowering women and young people through various counter-terrorism and capacity building initiatives in Sub-Saharan Africa, with this project being one of them.

In highlighting some of the achievements from phase one, the Head of UNODC’s Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice pillar for Eastern Africa, Ms. Charity Kagwi-Ndungu, said 20 girls graduated from the “SPEAR” life skills programme run by Clean Start and mentioned also the successful transition of a group of six girls who exited the institutions into Great Rift Girls High School to continue with their formal education.

Another highlight was the training of girls from Dagoretti and Kirigiti Rehabilitation Schools on Fashion Design and Dressmaking which led to the Designing Dreams Initiative and two fashion shows, one staged at the UN Office in Nairobi and the second in Spain, where their designs developed with four prominent Kenyan fashion designers were profiled.

The proceeds from these events are to go towards the building of a halfway home once the girls are released from their respective rehabilitation homes, to enable them to earn a living and be economically empowered in a bid to ease their reintegration process. This is being supported by a Spanish non-governmental organization – THRibune.

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