Street children in Kenya are perceived as ‘chokora’ – a Swahili word loaded with negative connotations associated with scavenging for food from rubbish tips. Street children are from diverse backgrounds. Some are from abusive homes or have been abandoned by their parents. Others have lost their parents to HIV/AIDS or dropped out of school to support their families.
Glad’s House is building a community-based child-care and support facility for street children as well as for children from disadvantaged backgrounds and the local community. The project involves a process known as the 4-Rs: Rescue, Rehabilitation, Re-socialisation and Reintegration.
Currently we work from “the Base” (PICTURE). Here we assist the children and youths in re-joining the Kenyan school system or to begin vocational training programmes. It is vital to the welfare and interests of children needing a sanctuary from a life of poverty, homelessness and crime. It gives children from the home??? and the surrounding neighbourhood the chance to have access to education, arts, sports and medical aid. The children visit the centre on a daily basis and are given food, healthcare and counselling. They are also helped to find and reunite with their families.
Our main focus now is to build a proper community centre where we can provide full and high quality services to the children and youth.
The programme will:
- Rescue, rehabilitate, re-socialise and reintegrate abandoned and vulnerable children back into the family unit and community
- Increase community understanding and awareness of the rights of children as a way of stemming the flow of children on to the streets
- Increase vulnerable children’s access to basic education and vocational training opportunities
- Increase vulnerable children’s access to basic health services and information
- Establish a sustainable child-care and support model for street children, which could be scaled up and replicated in other communities
Our Centre (when built) will incorporate offices, a kitchen to be used for children who are on our integration programme and children that attend Papasa, a dispensary/medical centre and classrooms. The latter two would be used by current street children, ex street children and members of the community of Magongo.
Glad’s House’s plan is to develop a ‘Staged Accommodation’ programme for children and young people leaving the street in Mombasa. During Stage One and Two we intend to use small ‘Swahili’ style houses which will house up to 16 children/young people. Stage One will be one smaller building whilst Stage Two will require at least two buildings to ensure that accommodation is age appropriate for the children and young people residing in our care. Stage Three will focus on moving young people into the appropriate long term accommodation which will include
- Foster Family
- Living independently in the community
All these options will require long term support which will vary depending on what is assessed and incorporated into the Care Plan.
All houses will be staffed 24 hours a day.