Watoto Court: Teaching Kids in Kenya about Anti-corruption & Justice
How do we explain to our kids corruption, hypocrisy, deception and all the problems pervading our country? What should we say to our children when they are exposed, for the first time, to the ripple effects of brazen greed bedevilling our country?
Is it even in a child’s interest to speak to them about “adult issues”? Is it even correct to call it an “adult issue” when corruption is taking away from the kids themselves – their playgrounds, their hospital medicine, their textbooks and subsidized milk in schools?
When it comes to corruption, we need to wake our kids to the uncomfortable realities of our times. They are seeing it in the news and social media anyway, so parents might as well help their young minds understand and process the gravity of these stories.
Of course, we have to take a gentle approach, one that does not conflict with a child’s naturally optimistic and wistful worldview.
You could give your child the analogy of a school bully who takes away other children’s lunch money for their own use. Ask them how that makes them feel.
How would they react? What would be the right thing for them to do if they witnessed this happening? If they reported the school bully to the teacher, what else do they do in case no action is taken? How about if a classmate was paying the teacher to get higher grades than everyone else? Would that make them feel sad?
There are creative ways of breaking down corruption for your kid without upsetting them. The main message to drive home should remain that corruption at its simplest is theft. And stealing is wrong. Emphasize the repercussions of greed and let them understand that anything worth having is worth working for.
Get extra help from Watoto Court. It’s a comic book courtroom drama about Wangui and Namunyak, two young African superheroes fighting corruption with the help of Judge Akinyi in a comical way. Will Pig Nguruwe get prison time?
Kids 6-12 years old, comic lovers and people who believe in integrity will be delighted by this form of edutainment.
Watch a snippet of the animated version here and purchase the comic book for Ksh 595 at The Line bookstore Village Market or Nuria Bookshop Moi Avenue.