In recent publications from the United Nations (Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children), Save The Children (Keeping Children Out of Harmful Institutions) and the African Member States of the Organization of African Unity, (African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child), there has been a strong encouragement to Governments and NGOs to move away from large institutional Care Provisions and to move towards smaller family base settings. In line with the Glad’s House ethos, returning children to their family/extended family is always the first and preferred option. However, these organisations and Glad’s House recognise that this is not always possible and that an alternative option will need to be provided.
Glad’s House plan is to develop a ‘staged accommodation’ process for children and young people leaving the street in Mombasa. During the initial phases of our reintegration programmes we intend to use small ‘Swahili’ style houses. These buildings will be an important part of the process as they will provide a safe haven for the children, without the potentially negative consequences of an institutionalised large-scale centre.
Once the children and young people are ready, we will place the younger children in foster homes and support them to return to full-time education. For the young adults, (where returning to school is not possible) we provide training and the opportunity to join one of our ‘enterprise schemes’. We also provide supervised accommodation for them and access to informal education