Study on ‘Kirimo’ as a Harmful Cultural Practice that hinders Child Protection and Recommendation on developing an Alternative Practice in Tharaka

Kenya Alliance for Advancement of Children (KAACR) is carrying out a three-year project to prevent and respond to all forms of violence against children by establishing national child protection  systems in Kenya through the development of good practices from the community level that can be replicated in other areas and up to the national level. This study report presents findings of Kirimo as a harmful cultural practice in Tharaka District, Kenya. The study was done with a view to learning how an alternative practice can be developed to the identified rampant harmful cultural practice in the community of Tharaka. The study area focused on Tharaka South District that is composed of five Divisions, namely Tharaka South, Tunyai, Tharaka Central, Turima and Nkondi. These communities still hold on to the outdated cultural practice of Kirimo, where boys below the age of 12 years undergo mass circumcisions using single, sterilized knives, exposing these boys to serious beatings which could easily cause permanent injuries or death.  The data was collected by use of a questionnaire, observations, visiting and interviewing ‘Njurincheke’ council of elders and organized groups in various parts of Tharaka. 

Many children have been abused due to the failure of duty bearers to take up the responsibility of providing the basic needs such as health care, schooling and food, freedom of thought and freedom of expression among others. The study tried to examine how best the duty bearers can protect children against harmful and out dated cultural practices in the community. The study findings are important to KAACR and any other organization working for and with children in Tharaka, government, stakeholders and Tharaka Community as it will help all child rights advocates, promoters and the community to make informed decisions on how to eliminate Kirimo as a rite of passage.

 

 

Published 2013-07-22

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