The idea for the setup of Childline Kenya was conceived in 2004 by Plan International . In 2005, Plan International with support from partners including SOS Children’s Villages and Kenya Alliance for the Advancement of Children’s Rights (KAARC) set up the organization, and with it the Child Helpline service.
The organization was setup to respond to the following situation:
Childline was therefore set up to create an enabling environment for children to voice their concerns, be listened to and be supported to express and confront issues affecting them.
The first call was received in November 2006 on the toll free number 0-800-221-0-800. The number was difficult for children to remember and was only available on land line.
In 2008 Childline Kenya and the Department of Children services launched the three-digit Helpline number, 116, which was easier to remember, and was also available on mobile devices for free from all over Kenya.
The Helpline is one of the Government’s strategic initiatives to provide an e-platform for child protection. Through the Helpline, children can reach out to report abuse and other concerns that cause distress to them and receive the necessary support including immediate counseling and effective referral to child protection services. Other members of the public also access the Helpline to report cases on behalf of children.