The Child Protection & Youth Development Sector is responsible for safeguarding the best interest of persons under the age of 18 especially those that are considered to be children and youth at risk. The Sector works closely with UNHCR and other child-focused institutions and structures to ensure that all children experience wholesome growth and development and enjoy all their rights in a safe and secure environment in Kakuma refugee camp.
Children and young people comprise about 60% of the refugee population in Kakuma. There are 13,109 (4,326 girls and 8,783 boys) vulnerable children out of which the majority 81.4 % are Separated children while 15.6% are Unaccompanied minors. The remaining 2.9% are children with other vulnerabilities. LWF has managed to link 11,140 of the UASCs with their blood relatives, placed another 865 in Child-headed households and facilitated formal Foster Care for 784 children.
LWF extended child protection services to the host community through the ‘Anti-Child Labour’ program supported by TdH and ELCA which has so far managed to withdraw 1,200 out of an estimated 3,000 from child labour. Some of the adolescent who were withdrawn from children labour were enrolled in schools while others opted for vocational trainings in Lodwar, Kitale, Nakuru and Nairobi. One of the female beneficiaries took a driving course and is now a driving instructor in Kakuma.
LWF supports the youth in Kakuma to organize and participate in competitive sports and recreational activities. This has created an opportunity for the youth to identify, nurture and exploit their talents. LWF unveiled Gobole Dance Crew who participated in the 2015 Edition of the East Africa Sakata Dancing Competition in Nairobi where they narrowly missed the gala night but featured in TV broadcasts of the show across East Africa.
There are 450 youth teams (73 for females) in the camp each with an average of 20 members. A girls’ football team from Kakuma refugee camp also recently took part in a tournament organized by Football Kenya Federation and played very well against some of the best Kenyan girls’ teams.
Child Protection & Youth Development is organized into units that specifically handle BID (Best Interest Determination), Case Management, Outreach, Youth Development as well as Data Management. The sector has established and empowered community-based child protection structures across the refugee camp and in the surrounding host community villages that act as the first line of response to child protection concerns in the community.
The Youth Development unit has a mandate of positively engaging adolescents and youth in constructive activities and programs that help in identifying and exploring their skills, thus keep them away from trouble and harmful behaviour.
The sector currently has 44 national and 157 incentive workers in Kakuma serving a target population of 103,000 children, adolescents and youth below 18 years in the refugee camp.
Mike Lokai, Deputy Child Protection Officer, BID assessing an abandoned child to facilitate legal custody to the foster parents who have cared for the child for the last 3 years. © LWF Kakuma 2016
Funding for Child Protection & Youth Development comes mainly from UNHCR, UNICEF, TdH, ELCA/ALWS, ELCA Anti Child Labour, CoS and DCA.