Spotlight on AMWIK: Women Lead by Example to Fight Child Labor in the Commercial Sector
Association of Media Women (AMWIK) in Kenya is implementing a project that uses community radio listening groups to create awareness against child labor in commercial agriculture and fishing. One of the ways AMWIK ensures the sustainability of the project is to actively involve all partners: from the children, the community, parents, teachers, organizations and government officials. These stakeholders then act as sources of information to others. AMWIK has been very successful using this strategy. One project community in Kiambu withdrew eight children from labor. In Kisumu, 45 children were withdrawn from child labor. All of these children are now in school.

Some of the listening group members involved in fish skinning
April 2007. One community group recently admitted that two its members had involved their own children in child labor and had actually withdrawn them from school to help skin fish. The two members were supporting their own children and the children of relatives who died from HIV/AIDS. Overwhelmed by their responsibilities, they withdrew their children from school so they could help support the family.

"After listening to the programs, I was really challenged by the information I was receiving. Nobody had ever told me the negative side of child labor. After all, we grew up working and I personally never went beyond class two. I dropped out of school when I was 8 years old and started working with my parents," explained one of the group members. She never saw anything wrong with her children working. She knows that her children were very good students, and now she understands that unless she allows them to go back to school, the cycle of poverty will continue in her family.

The two members have therefore taken the children under their care back to school.

The other group members feel that they had to lead by example if other community members were to listen to them as they spread the message on child labor.

Skinned fish skeletons drying before being sold to animal feed manufacturers in Kisumu