Children aged between 6 and 17 that were abandoned by their family or are in conflict with the law live in governmental centres of Nairobi, in Kenya. By working on infrastructures and on training the staff, their conditions are improved and they are provided with a better future.
In Kenya there are thousands street children, with no family or abandoned, who end up begging or committing petty crimes and thus in conflict with the law. Under local legislation, they should be placed in specific governmental centres, where they can even be kept for several years in tough conditions, assisted by an unprepared staff in tottering facilities.
A journey started in 2010
The project originates from the collaboration among the NGO Cefa and the Department of Children Services in Kenya. The aim was to apply the paedagogical methodology Cefa created within the Nairobi Children’s Rescue Centre, state-run facilities for children found on the street of the capital, waiting for families to come back for them. The reception project launched in 2013 is its natural continuation: the intervention has been extended to two other centres and will improve provision of educational, psychosocial and reintegration services in state-run centres for orphans, abandoned children and minors in conflict with the law.
Protection and effective services
In governmental centres, the staff is reduced in number and not well-trained from a paedagogical point of view, especially due to the national lack of resources. As a consequence, such centres rely on the precious help of volunteers, who often do not realise how delicate their task is, considering that those minors have already suffered a lot in their life.
The project guarantees to improve:
- services through a specific training for the staff
- infrastructures, starting from hygiene and health conditions and centres’ equipment
- methods to approach centres’ guests, namely, street children.
Personal development processes, reintegration and —whenever possible— reunification stages shall also be improved. Because the ideal place for minors to be raised is, and always will be, their family.
Guaranteeing child protection
The aim is to contribute to protecting children within Kenya state-run reception centres in line with the provisions set down in the Convention on the Rights of the Child, to improving minors’ reintegration in the family/community and to safeguarding the psychophysical well-being of children hosted in state-run reception centres.
3,000 children helped in 10 years
Project’s direct beneficiaries are 450 children hosted in the three Kenya state-run centres and 120 governmental operators receiving training. Yet, looking beyond with a long-term perspective, all children these target centres will host in the following years will be helped. According to the estimates of the Department of Children Services in Kenya, it may be possible to reach a total of 3,000 children in 10 years.