Retrak America

Retrak works to transform highly vulnerable children's lives; preserve families; empower communities and give each of them a voice. We put children at the very heart of everything we do and will be fearless and tenacious in defending and promoting their rights.
Sep 11, 2014

"Why I'm a Chokora"

Children at Child Rescue Kenya
Children at Child Rescue Kenya

Retrak's partner project in Kenya, Child Rescue Kenya (CRK), works with street children - called chokora in kiswahili - in Kenya's Rift Valley District. In their own words, here's why some of them ended up on the streets:

Maurine (12) "After my mom died, my father started drinking. He sold our land and our cow. We stopped going to school and had to beg for food. Then people started coming to the house. They would get drunk. My brothers ran away and I followed when he started beating us".

Davie (5) "I lived with my parents and my grandmother. One night people I don't know came to our village; they were from another tribe. There was fire and people started screaming. So much fire. We ran and ran until we could no longer hear the screams or smell the smoke. Then I realized, I was alone".

Susan (8) "I did not know it was wrong. My stepfather used to come to me. It hurt a lot. One night I cried and the neighbors came. They beat him. The police brought me here. I like it here but I want to go home".

Erupe (9) "I am from the desert. We used to herd goats. Baba had over 30 and we could trade milk and meat for other things. As the ground got drier our goats started to die. We don't have any now, Baba also died. There is so much hunger in Turkana".

Every child who comes through CRK's doors has a unique story of how they ended up on the streets. Their stories are heartbreaking, but the good news is that every one of these children, and thousands before them, has returned to a home and family, thanks to the work of Child Rescue Kenya... and thanks to your support.

Sep 11, 2014

From the Streets of Kampala to a Five-Star Hotel

David at Retrak
David at Retrak's Drop-In Center

Meet David. David entered a life of hardship at an early age when his parents separated and later died. He went to live with an uncle who tried to force him to be a witchcraft shrine attendant rather than go to school. Instead, David went onto the streets of Kampala, Uganda. 

In desperation , David turned to a church for help and from there he was referred to Retrak. David entered Retrak's foster care program and while he found it difficult at the start, he eventually settled into a loving home where he felt safe and happy. This allowed him to rejoin the community where he became an influential leader of those around him, especially other children.

Later, Retrak made sure that David was able to take his ‘O’ level qualifications, which opened his eyes to the world of academics that he previously had no means of accessing. He developed a great passion for learning and gained a place at a vocational institute where he could continue his studies. His determination helped him to obtain an internship at a 5-star hotel in Kampala as an electrician.  By May of 2014, at the end of his internship, David's excellent work was recognzed and he was hired by the hotel - a miraculous opportunity given his difficut background.
For twenty years, Retrak has been changing the lives of street children like David, something that we would not be able to do without the support of our donors. Thank you for helping us in our work.
David
David's employer, the Sheraton in Kampala

Links:

Sep 11, 2014

Update from Lilongwe, Malawi

The Lilongwe Drop-in Center
The Lilongwe Drop-in Center

In 2013 Retrak began a partnership with Chisomo Children’s Club in Malawi, to change the lives of  street children in the cities of Lilongwe and Blantyre. Before we could begin our work with the children, we needed to make some major changes. We're delighted to report that, since our last progress report, we've recruited a nurse, a teacher, a nighttime caregiver, a finance manager and a monitoring and evaluation officer for the project in Lilongwe. Major renovations to the drop-in center have also been completed. Reaching these milestones means that we can finally begin our real work:

Outreach has started!

We now have fifteen children safely in the center who were previously struggling to survive on the street. The children are participating in a full day's program involving counseling, medical care and catch-up education. When they're ready, our staff will start to work to return them home to loving families.

The renovations and the staff hirings at the center in Lilongwe were made possible through the generosity of donors like you. We are so grateful for your continued support. 

Links:

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