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An inheritance from above taken for granted…CHILDREN

Children are one third of our population and all of our future. ~Select Panel for the Promotion of Child Health, 1981

Looking at my son’s pictures on the wall of my small house on the hill that I have called home for the past two years in Khorixas, I feel really blessed to be a mother. This blog is a dedication to my beloved son Michael Khanda and many other wonderful children out in the world. Children are gifts from above that most communities in the world take for granted. For example girl children are frowned upon in the African and Indian traditions. If I was born in India I think , I would never be where I am today writing blogs in English or even know how to work on a computer. I would have been in the rice paddys working myself to death for less than a dollar a day to feed a lazy husband and many other children I would have bore from a young tender age of about10 years . Maybe I would have been wife number 10 while the elder ones use me as a slave since they are in charge. These thoughts are grim and make me shudder when I imagine the evils bestowed upon a girl child in Asia.

In Africa the story is more or less the same, girl children being given early in marriages to old men for a very small fee which the fathers of the bride down it all in the local brew shacks in the villages. Forced Female Genital Mutilation is another difficulty that girls from specific tribes undergo while still young as a form of initiation to womanhood and adulthood. In addition, small girls are forced or sold into slavery by their own parents to rich city and big town dwellers are housemaids who are paid peanuts, denied food and subjected to sexual harassment by their mistresses husbands to earn an extra coin. This is reducing the girl child into a prostitute plying her trade in silence with the husband of the house. There is a very high risk of unwanted pregnancies , contracting STIs and worse of all HIV/AIDS.

I salute my late dad Nathan Khanda Ingutia who married my beloved mother his youthful maiden Priscah Ingutia. In the African context my mother will be termed as not deserving in her ability to bear sons. She got more biological daughters than sons of which naturally qualifies my dad to take on another wife who can bear more sons to continue the family lineage and legacy. These traditions forget that daughters are as good as sons, once these daughters are ripe for marriage they will give birth to children whom they will name after their fathers hence family name continuation. My son is named after my dad and am sure if my father is to resurrect today he will be one happy grandfather to have a grandson from his daughter named after him.Anyway culture is a very broad subject to delve my head into it deeply. I think I will be more confused if I go that way by the time I finish writing this article.

Fast track to myself having given birth to a son, I should be applauded and even accorded an honorary doctorate degree by the University of Old School of thought. Unfortunately, since I got my son out of marriage then its next to impossible. Does that mean my son is not as good enough as those sons born in marriage? A resounding NO. Every child in this world whether born in marriage or out of wedlock has rights which have to be accorded to him or her.

Every child has a right to all basic needs which include: education, proper medical attention, Shelter, food and clothing. Above all every child is entitled to life and LOVE.

Whenever I go out to do field work assignments or outreach activities in farms within the conservancies I work with, I meet very old women also known as Grandmothers having a lot of many small ones running and buzzing around them like bees. These woman cannot even carry water from the well about 800metres away , they don’t have jobs and only rely on Governments Old Age Grants. The situation is so bad that it leaves these grand children who are to be a blessing a burden and also very vulnerable to social ills. These children nutritional needs are not properly met, school fees is a pipe dream, they walk in tattered clothes, they very small ones have only upper coverings while their bottoms are naked. What if it’s a girl child? A very immoral drunken neighbor who is idle ends up raping this little one and at times killing the child. In the recent past, Namibia has reported many cases of child rape and killings from North to South, East to West. Is this how we handle God’s blessings to us? Those parents who leave their small children in the care of their aging parents where is the human soul to send upkeep back home? Some of these parents work in big offices in far away cities and can afford to send more than USD 300 monthly but they don’t. Why have children when you can afford basic needs and still not provide. Use condoms if you don’t want children.

Convention on the rights of the child has 54 articles that clearly defines children Rights that have to be adhered to. It clearly states that…Bearing in mind that, as indicated in the Declaration of the Rights of the Child, "the child, by reason of his physical and mental immaturity, needs special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal protection, before as well as after birth”, Click here to educate yourself on these rights www2.ohchr.org/english/law/crc.htm

All these children in the world deserve an education,food,shelter ,clothing and medical attention. I appeal to all governments to make provisions in their constitutions to accommodate all children born in marriage or out of marriage. Let these children be accorded their rights to thrive well and take care of us in our old age.

Mothers out there take time to think of the new experiences you went through with your children from conception, those little kicks in your belly when you least expected .At birth the first baby cries that you have a healthy child ,the first tooth, the crawls, the first step into walking not forgetting the first time that baby called you “MAMA” Your heart raced with joy. Fathers out there how does it feel when you talk about your children to your fellow peers during that one for the road drink in the pub? It feels great that you have a Minnie you somewhere who’ll one day be a world leader.

President Barack Obama was once a child of unknown parents to the world, because of values instilled in him and the rights that were accorded him, today he leads one of the world’s super powers. He signs on policies affecting most countries in the world today. Look at how proud he is of his daughters…….what does that tell us? Children are human beings despite their sexes i.e. boy or girl child.

Long Live Children! Their Rights Their Lives. Let us give our children wings to soar as high and far as they can. Children Thrive Nations Thrive.

Every child comes with the message that God is not yet discouraged of man. ~Rabindranath Tagore

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Darcey's picture

On Children

Beautifully written. I love your confidence in our future generations, of parents that are willing and able to stand for and with their children, to love them and lead them.
As I was reading your piece, a piece of poetry came to mind written by Kahlil Gibran. It is called 'On Children'

And a woman who held a babe against her bosom said, Speak to us of Children.
And he said:
Your children are not your children.
they are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
for their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.

The musical group Sweet Honey in the Rock put this to music. Breathtaking.

"A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality."
— John Lennon

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