THE EDITOR: In the US they have what is referred to as an Amber Alert, which goes out on all media and to the protective services when a child is missing. It is named after a child called Amber who possibly could have been saved after being abducted, if only the general public had been made aware of her plight and been on the lookout for her.
When our own little Kimani went missing, what did we do? Certainly, to the enormous credit of the villagers, the Hunters Search and Rescue Association and the police, a massive search was mounted. And as for the rest of us? Yes, if we had seen a little toddler alone on the street at that time we would have bundled him up and taken him to the authorities post-haste. Unfortunately, none of us had that opportunity.
Instead, we spent all our time, energy and effort blaming who didn't pick him up and who left the door open. We boasted about how much different we would have acted in similar circumstances.
In the melee we forgot to focus on the real purpose of a missing child alert – to bring the infant back home safe and sound. We could not be there to help in the search, we were not present to pick him up ourselves, but we could and should have contributed something even more powerful. Our prayers.
The entire country should have been praying for this child's safe return. Who knows what may have happened if the rest of us had spent our time crying out to God for his life? We all consider prayer to be a privilege, but in times like this it can be viewed as a sacred duty.
I would like to suggest that in future, anytime a child is in need, we should call for a "Kimani Alert," where the entire country is asked to pray for their safe deliverance. (With the permission of Kimani's parents, of course.)
JOANNE K JOSEPH