The Day of Prayer and Action for Children was marked in Isiolo County in the Eastern part of Kenya at the Al-Falah Children’s Center where over 50 children from different schools and children centers came together to pray, commemorate and share together for the sake of the children. The Al-Falah children’s home takes care of over 300 children majority of whom are orphans.
The day started off with prayers from both the Islamic and Christian religious traditions and a brief program outline of the day’s activities from the master of ceremony Mr. Ahmed Set who is also the administrator of Al-Falah children’s center.
The schools that gathered at the Al-Falah Center were Isiolo Boys high school, Isiolo GirlsHigh School, Al-Falah Primary School, Pepo la Jangwani Tumaini Children’s Center and Saint Paul Secondary school. The participants were entertained with poems, a dance and a play by Isiolo Girls, aimed at raising awareness on the need to reduce child mortality and promote maternal health.
The chairman of the Isiolo district peace committee Mr. Dida was the chief guest; other guests were pastor Kalunyu of the Catholic Church Ms Abdia Abdi of the Isiolo Women Peace Network and the patrons of the various school based peace clubs.
The chairman spoke of the need to ensure peaceful coexistence in order to promote development. He spoke about the many plans that were soon to be launched in Isiolo County including an international airport, a railway line linking Kenya with Southern Sudan and a soon to be built resort town in the County.
Isiolo as a town is no stranger to conflicts with one community fighting another over scarce resources and ethnic animosities. It has one of the highest concentrations of diverse ethnic groups with pastoralist backgrounds living in arid and semi-arid conditions with a long history of neglect and underdevelopment.
The chairman said that without peaceful coexistence the developments he had sighted will not be achieved. He reiterated that “all communities have a right to live” in Isiolo County.
The day also saw the participants who were mostly children march to (and from the) Al-Falah Medical center where they received free de-worming and medical attention.
The participants chanted “we want peace” as they marched from the medical center to the Al-Falah children’s home. A peace tree was planted at the Al-Falah Center to commemorate the day and help ensure a better environment for the future.
Participants who were from the school based peace clubs were encouraged to plant trees in their respective schools and centers. The day ended with the singing of the Kenyan National anthem which happens also to be a prayer!