Streets Ahead (Kisumu, Kenya)
We are working to support vulnerable children living on the streets Kisumu by reuniting them with their families and reintegrating them into mainstream school.
Kisumu is the third largest city in Kenya, and is haunted by the growing street child population, estimated to be almost 1,000 children. Most of these children come from the Western province, where traditional cultural beliefs, poverty and neglect are all significant push factors that tempt children to a life on the streets.
“Street Children are stigmatized as thieves, beggars, mad and dirty… but really they are just scared.”
Philip Nyangara, Outreach worker, Kisumu, April 2012
Victimised children are regularly the target of further abuse, such as rape by older children or labour exploitation. More recently, there has been a huge rise of human trafficking in East Africa and vulnerable street children, without the protection of a family network, are an easy target.
Reuniting children with their family network
As an organisation, Jubilee Action strives to provide alternative care models in order to prevent the institutionalisation of children. To this end, our programme in Kisumu aims to reunite street children with their family or relatives within a three month period, thus limiting the damaging psychological impact of residential care. This process is supported by rigorous family counselling services to ensure that there are no unresolved conflicts between the child and their family. The process is carefully managed with the child's well-being and participation at the heart of all decision making.
Getting street children back into school
It is important to recognise the difficulty for street children to adapt to formal education which is why our temporary shelter provides an environment where they are able to interact with other children and establish a routine; in order to promote the feeling of stability and develop their self-esteem. Informal, transitory education is key to this process and to the successful reintegration to formal, mainstream education. All children residing at the shelter are enrolled into the informal education classes which provide a stepping stone towards re-joining a mainstream school once they are living within the community again.
Supporting families to protect and care for their children
Jubilee Action addresses this issue by promoting long-term sustainable livelihoods for the affected families in Kisumu to ensure that there is no undue reliance on our project intervention. Our most common strategy is to provide start-up materials to enable parents or guardians to establish income generating activities. With support from our family counsellors, single parents can also understand their rights more fully and can make contact with their estranged partner to request financial support to care for their children. All of these activities seek to prevent exploitative work practices which can encourage children to leave for the streets. Read more about our 'Alternative Care' approach here.
- Swahili, English
- Semi-presidential republic
- 224,080 sq mi
- £44,659 million
- Per capita