KENYA: AMECEA Launches Guidelines on Child Protection 

NAIROBI, May 31, 2019 (CISA)-The Association of Member Episcopal Conference in Eastern Africa (AMECEA) has launched Child Safeguarding Standards and Guidelines, a booklet to assist church leaders develop values to uphold the safety of children.

The launch held on May 31 in Nairobi was graced by the Chairperson AMECEA pastoral department Achbishop Ignatius Chama of Kasama, Zambia.

“Through this launch of the Child Safeguarding Standards and Guidelines, the Church in AMECEA firmly communicates a strong resolve to join the universal Church in establishing fair and just systems and structures that listen to the voice of the children,” said Archbishop Chama.

According to the archbishop, these standards and guidelines shall form a basis for the establishment of not only competent and comprehensive child safeguarding policies in all our dioceses and institutions, but also reveal individuals who are committed to implement child safeguarding initiatives.

He urged all “…to utilize these guidelines to their fullness for the betterment and safety of all the children in the region and beyond.”

“The time has come to find a correct equilibrium of all values in play and to provide uniform directives for the Church, avoiding the two extremes of a ‘justicialism’ provoked by guilt for past errors and media pressure, and a defensiveness that fails to confront the causes and effects of these grave crimes,” he quoted Pope Francis message during the final Mass at the meeting on the protection of minors in the Church that took place in February 2019 in Rome.

Fr Emmanuel Chimombo, the AMECEA Pastoral Coordinator said that the booklet gives a guideline on the establishment and implementation of child protection policies for AMECEA member conferences.

“The document is not everything, but has a minimum standards and guidelines that the church in the region can effectively use to tackle matters pertaining to the child safeguarding and protection,” he said.

Fr Anthony Makunde, the Secretary General of AMECEA committed that AMECEA will always be available to journey together with the conferences in their commitment to safeguarding and protecting children in the region.

“I call upon the clergy here present to find a way in which our Christian communities will become a forum to observe, discuss and resolve on strategies  that will be applicable in our local places to safeguard children and vulnerable others,” Fr Makunde said.