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Last Updated: Thursday, 7 December 2006, 14:54 GMT
School Day 24: Kenya-Tanzania
Students at Kayole Primary, Kenya

Prejudice towards orphans is a big problem in both Kenya and Tanzania. Most are subjected to discrimination and isolation and those orphaned by Aids especially find it very difficult to find friends among parented pupils.

The BBC Swahili Service linked orphaned children with some who still have parents.

The children who have parents asked the orphaned children questions first.

Question from Godlac, Olympic Primary School, Kenya

I go to a boarding school and it really hits me hard when my parents miss a visiting day, how do you cope knowing that your parents have not just missed a visiting day but will never visit you at all since they are no more?

Pamela, 14, Olympic Primary School, Kenya: It pains me a lot, sometimes I even get jealous seeing other children being visited. I miss my parents so much.

Joseph, 9, Kayole Primary, Kenya: [Crying] I miss my parents so much. I love them so much. My grandma loves me and takes great care of me but still I miss my parents. I want them to be near me to feed me and love me and take me to school.

Tanzanian girl, Bulongwa Primary School, Tanzania: Sometimes I crave for fried chicken but I know I can never have it since my parents are dead and I cannot afford it.

Question from Lukoye, Ziwani Primary School, Kenya

This is to the children who take on parenting roles. Do you have time to play?

Reagan, Olympic Primary School, Kenya: I don't have time to play because I'm always busy; when I come home from school my aunt forces me to do a lot of house chores, doing the dishes and laundry and cleaning. I don't have time for my homework let alone play. And since I don't do my homework, I get punished at school for not doing it. It is a terrible life, life without my parents.

Question from Brenda, Olympic Primary School, Kenya

How has the demise of your parents changed your life?

Map of Kenya and Tanzania
Coleta: You know, when my parents were alive my mum loved me dearly. She never used to overwork me because she had true love for me. No love can be compared to a mother's love, like now my aunt overworks me and she does not appreciate anything I do for her, she shouts at me, I am always in the wrong. I don't even do my homework. If my parents were here I would be going to school.

Nicholas, Aga Khan Secondary School, Kenya: It saddens me when my school asks for parents to come to school, I have no-one to take because as a matter of fact I am the remaining parent. I take care of my siblings and my nieces because their mother - my sister - died of cancer. Another thing is there are some things you cannot discuss with anybody but your parents who understand you more.

Question from Brown, Olympic Primary School, Kenya

I have parents who protect me dearly. My question is: Do you orphans get genuine protection from your guardians?

Nicholas, Aga Khan Secondary School, Kenya: Some of them would take the orphan as their own and give them proper protection but some would discriminate. Personally I don't worry because where I live is safe with me, my sisters and my nieces - we don't have a grown-up taking care of us but there are some people, neighbours who help us from time to time.

Then the orphans asked the children with parents some questions.

Question from Pamela, Olympic Primary School, Kenya

What have you done to help the orphans?

Anne, Olympic Primary School, Kenya: I have a friend who is an orphan. I give her my clothes which do not fit me and my parents and the church also assist her in her day-to-day life.

Brenda, Olympic Primary School, Kenya: I also help the orphans. We visit orphanages and assist because before my father died he had helped a lot of orphans and encouraged us to do so too.

Question from Nicholas, Aga Khan Secondary School, Kenya

Do you think giving clothes and food to orphans is a permanent solution to their problems?

Brenda, Olympic Primary School, Kenya: I know education is the most important thing to give to anyone - there is no life if one is not educated.

Question from Salim, Kamukunji Primary School, Kenya

In school I see orphans being discriminated against by other pupils. Why is this so? Are they not the same as children who have parents?

Brown, Olympic Primary School, Kenya: It is not fair to discriminate against the orphans. The ones who do that are in the wrong because we are all the same.


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