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Program for orphans on verge of failure

29 November 2012, 16:46 Kelvin Mureithi

A program for orphans and vulnerable children funded by the United States Aid In Development (USAID) and APHIA PLUS KAMILI in Meru County is facing challenges that may hinder its successful implementation.

Meru County Children’s Coordinator Eliud Mutwiri says the program that is targeting 19 000 orphans within the Meru County risks facing permanent dependency on donor funds due to failure to put in place self sustaining structures.

Speaking to the media at his office on Wednesday, Mutwiri said the donors were concentrating on children who are orphaned by HIV/AIDS yet cancer has emerged as a leading killer leading to a high influx of orphaned children.

He said street children who were residing in rural urban centers were increasing by the day and that their numbers overwhelming.

He noted that there is need to involve the Provincial Administration and link them with the local communities, since they have the potential to provide labor and indigenous traditional knowledge.

The children’s coordinator pointed out that there is gender disparity among support groups which comprise only of women who are the guardians to the orphans, leaving men out.

He called on beneficiary communities to come up with self sustaining programs that will ensure that they are self sufficient in future.

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