First Lady Margaret Kenyatta has called on Kenyans to build strong families so as to build a strong nation.
She said it is through strong family ties that Kenyans will be able to interact well and thereby break barriers of ethnicity, race, colour and religion.
“A cohesive family builds character, commitment and self-worth. A child that grows in a loving family is likely to be a good citizen,” said the First Lady.
The First Lady was speaking this morning when she officially opened the national conference to commemorate the UN International Day of the Family at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC).
The theme of the Conference is, “Family: Hope of the Nation.”
The International Day of Families is observed on the 15th of May every year.
The Day was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in 1993 and reflects the importance the international community attaches to families.
The International Day provides an opportunity to promote awareness of issues relating to families and to increase knowledge of the social, economic and demographic processes affecting families.
The First Lady challenged Kenyans to have a broader view of the family unit adding that families are the center of a society that provide a stable and supporting home for people of all ages.
“Strong family values rest on compassion, respect, peace, justice, freedom, equality and most importantly, tolerance of different opinions, ideas and affiliations,” said the First Lady.
She pointed out that a network of families makes a strong community which ultimately leads to a strong nation.
“Such community allows all its children to play together, mothers and fathers get together, and elders can meet,” said the First Lady.
She challenged Kenyans to learn to honour the elderly members of the society as they have a special role and responsibility in strengthening and maintaining family bonds.
“The elderly members are an important treasury of our collective wisdom, institutional memories and our history as a nation. And they have the time and experience to provide support to the younger generation,” she affirmed.
She reiterated that keeping family ties is very important for the country as it helps in building a peaceful, safe and caring society.
“As we celebrate this important Day, we as Kenyans need to promote and retain our positive values
Cabinet Secretary for Sports, Culture and the Arts Dr. Hassan Wario, who spoke on behalf of the Labour Cabinet Secretary, said the Government is committed to strong families as they ensure stability of the nation.
He said it is for this reason that the Government through the Labour Ministry has designed policies and programmes to address and support families facing serious challenges.
He cited Cash Transfer to the Older Persons programme which has benefited 210,000 households in all constituencies, Cash Transfer to Persons with Severe Disabilities which has benefitted 27,200 households and Cash Transfers to Orphans and Vulnerable Children’s which has benefitted 248,230 as programmes designed to support families.
The Cabinet Secretary said the Ministry is now in the process of formulating the National Protection and Formulation policy which will be guided by chapter 4 and article 45 of the constitution.
Kiminini MP, Dr. Chris Wamalwa who also spoke said the Parliament will only pass and enact laws which promote success of the family unit.
“Whatever we do must have moral obligation. I want to assure you as parliament we don’t just legislate; we look at moral and family values,” said the MP.
During the conference stakeholders from various sections of the society submitted their views which will also be incorporated in the National Family Protection and Promotion Policy.