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Family is where life begins, and love never ends


Family is the most important and valuable gift that God has given us. It is our first lesson in learning to relate with others. On Wednesday, August 5th, 2020 the Institute for Family Studies and Ethics (IFS) held a forum to discuss the importance of family. This is in line with its goal of promoting stable families in Kenya. IFS achieves this goal by providing leadership and collaboration in interdisciplinary research, family-related education, law and policy input, advocacy, and social outreach initiatives.

 Important functions of a family
  1. Family is the primary unit for socializing children. No society is possible without adequate socialization of its young. Parents, siblings, and other relatives help socialize children from the time they are born.
  2. Family is ideally a major source of practical and emotional support for its members. It provides them with food, clothing, shelter, and other essentials. It also provides them with love, comfort, and help in times of emotional distress, and other types of support.
  3. Family provides its members with a social identity. Children are born into their parents’ social class, ethnicity, and religion.
How do we advocate for the family in such a dynamic world?

One of the key ways to advocate for families is through advocacy campaigns. Advocacy campaigns are a set of actions targeted to create support for a policy or proposal. Such campaigns seek to ensure that all people in society have their voices heard on family issues that are important to them. Also, people’s views are genuinely considered as it protects and promotes their rights when decisions are being made. As individuals, we can become agents of change that benefit the family by;

  1. Being up to date on the issues and policies that are affecting families. By being knowledgeable about trends and happenings, one can not only help others understand why but also offer them specific ways that they can get involved.
  2. Working with local institutions. Advocacy does not only mean working on specific laws or changes within the government. You can be an advocate for change within a business, school, or other community institution as well. For example, championing policies like flex time does not only make things easier for parents but is good for the company as well.
  3. Taking it one step at a time. Always remember you are speaking on behalf of the family. No matter how you use your voice or if you prefer to write emails or letters as a patron be advised that change is not accomplished overnight! However, making a difference and finding the opportunities to get involved in your community is worthwhile.

As you celebrate being part of a family remember to raise a flag higher for other families on May 15th every year. On this day, the United Nations highlights the importance of family units by providing opportunities that promote awareness of issues relating to families by increasing knowledge of the social, economic, and demographic processes affecting families. May we live to protect our families because it is here, we find a connection to our past, current, and future pursuits. Above all may we embrace family because it is where life begins, and love never ends.


This article was written by  Annete Karanja. 


Would you like to share your experience of living through the circumstances brought by the Covid-19 pandemic? Kindly email: communications@strathmore.edu