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Peaceful Elections Would Bring Stability to Kenyan Children

Global children’s charity Plan International (Plan) has urged Kenyans to maintain peace during the forthcoming general elections to maintain stability for millions of children in the east African country.

Plan Kenya Acting Country Director Samuel Musyoki said in a statement today that he is encouraged by the resolve of the country’s political leaders to campaign peacefully in the lead up to the historic elections slated for March 4, 2013, the first under the new constitution written by Kenyans since independence.

Tensions have been high in Kenya in the run up to the election, due to previous post-election violence in 2007 and 2008, and so far the peace maintained during the current political process has been universally welcomed.

Musyoki said peaceful elections in the country of 40 million people would ensure children in Kenya continue to enjoy their right to protection from physical danger and psychological trauma and thus grow up in a peaceful environment without fear.

“Plan believes that children’s right to safety, protection, well-being and education during and after elections is paramount. The peaceful conduct of the country’s political leadership will bequeath a rich legacy to Kenyan children who are the future leaders of the country,” said Musyoki.

Musyoki called upon the incoming government to actualize access to education which has been a priority agenda during the political campaigns ahead of the general elections. He said access to quality basic education and transition to secondary and tertiary levels, in particular for the poor and marginalized communities will go a long way to eradicating poverty.

A recent report by the United Nations Education Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) estimates that one million Kenyan children are out of school, placing Kenya among the top 10 countries in the world with the highest number of children out of school.

While the report applauds the introduction of Free Primary Education and the introduction of a secondary school tuition fees subsidy, which had reduced the costs of education on rural households, it highlights that indirect costs, such as school uniforms, were still as much as 20 times more than the monthly incomes of rural parents, making secondary education a mirage for children from poor families.

Musyoki said Plan would complement the efforts of the Kenyan government to ensure that vulnerable groups such as orphans, children with disability and girls accessed quality education.

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