The Chief of Mbeti in Embu County Ronald Njeru has initiated a campaign to promote the safety of thousands of learners during the extended Christmas holiday.
He urged parents, guardians, and community elders to be vigilant in ensuring the well-being of the children, both socially and physically.
Njeru emphasized the need for parents to closely monitor their children’s activities and associations, as children have become increasingly resourceful in avoiding supervision.
He stressed the importance of enforcing discipline within the bounds of the law while respecting children’s rights.
Recognizing the approaching school closure dates, the Chief engaged community elders and assistant chiefs in discussions about child safety during the holiday season.
“It has been agreed that a collaborative effort involving elders, Nyumba Kumi members, and the clergy will be crucial in monitoring and curbing anti-social behaviors,” he noted.
Elders have identified potential negative influences on children, such as involvement in Muguka Miraa harvest and trade and, at times, the use of mild drugs.
Traditional practices like Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) have been ruled out as community leaders acknowledge their illegality and health risks to the victims.
Njeru underlines the urgent need for interventions to protect the boy children who are currently more at risk due to their vulnerability to anti-social activities, including alcohol and drug abuse.
Additionally, he noted that the Government has launched campaigns to combat drug abuse, with a focus on apprehending suspected drug peddlers.
“Parents and guardians must also take responsibility for ensuring their children do not associate with such individuals,” the Chief stressed.
Njeru further advised parents to engage their children in productive activities at home, allocate time for academic revision, and allow controlled freedom for entertainment while ensuring the right company.
Additionally, he highlighted the importance of monitoring children’s smartphone usage to prevent exposure to harmful content.
The Chief extended his gratitude to churches and religious organizations for their commitment to launching counselling and guidance campaigns during the holiday season, aimed at instilling upright values in the children.
By Robert Nyagah
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