KENYA: Bishop Kihara Calls for Child Protection Desks in all Dioceses

MOMBASA, JULY 12, 2019 (CISA)- Bishop Peter Kihara of the Catholic Diocese of Marsabit, has called on all Catholic Dioceses in Kenya to set up a child protection desks and formulate child safeguarding policies in response to cases of child abuse in the Church.

“We must accept the reality of child abuse…we cannot run away from child abuse cases. We must face this reality. If any of our Church personnel is involved, it means the Church has to respond accordingly. You cannot protect the Church by hiding,” he said.

The Vice Chairman of the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB)– Commission for Social Communications was addressing Diocesan Communication Coordinators, Radio Station Managers and Missionary Communication and Media Directors gathered at Our Lady of Africa Pastoral Centre in Mombasa.

The prelate urged dioceses to come up with their own child safeguarding policies or use the KCCB policy, noting that the Association of Member Episcopal Conferences in Eastern Africa (AMECEA), had already come up with Child Safeguarding Standards and Guidelines to guide member conferences in formulating child protection policies.

He further called for trainings to be done at the local diocesan level, especially for those who are handling children.

“Child protection seminars should not be confined to the cities. We should go to the grassroots, in the dioceses – hold trainings there so that we can have an open discussion on the way forward,” he said.