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.
Mar 11, 2013

Bonus Day is Wednesday! Can you give to help a child in Africa?

Alemu proudly showing his graduation certificate
Alemu proudly showing his graduation certificate

Alemu had been on the street for around 4 or 5 years. His parents had died and he had survived on the streets in Addis Ababa since he was 11.

About 18 months ago Alemu came to Retrak hoping to escape from the depressing future he was facing. He had never been to school and felt there was no chance at all for him to break away from his current situation. After counseling with the Retrak social workers and encouragement by the teachers, Alemu joined Retrak's literacy classes.  He surprised himself and turned out to be a keen student and studiously practiced his letters and numbers.

Alemu was encouraged to join night school at the local government school.  He joined Grade 1 at 16 years old.   He came to the Retrak program by day and participate in all the activities until 3pm.  Then it was down to the bus station and work for a couple of hours to earn some cash by carrying people's bags.  By 5pm he would return, pick up his books and head to night school.  After school he would return to the drop-in center, eat the dinner Retrak provided for him, and sleep the night.

This week he came rushing back from the school.  Bursting through the door he proudly announced, "I've graduated!". At 16 years of age, he had been promoted from Grade 1 to Grade 2 and he was incredibly excited. This year, with the help of Retrak, Alemu will continue his night school in Grade 2, and at the same time will start daytime vocational training classes and learn how to become a barber.

Suddenly life is looking up and he can now excitedly look to a future away from the street, using his skills as a barber and continuing his education.

It's thanks to donors like you that Retrak can continue to work to lift street children out of poverty and back into society. Please consider making a donation on Wednesday, March 13, when GlobalGiving will make a 30% match of your donation to Retrak.

Feb 11, 2013

A Special Day for Me: Retrak Visit!

Some of the guys enjoying their Saturday!
Some of the guys enjoying their Saturday!

This past Saturday Britt Lake, the Direct of Programs at GlobalGiving and I had the pleasure of visiting Retrak in Kampala. Retrak is nestled in town, but even with all the hustle and bustle of city happenings Retrak's center provides a peaceful escape for street youth in the area. 

Britt and I met most of the staff who kindly spent part of their Saturday with us talking about the programs they offer. Right away we were blown away by the passion and empathy the staff brought to the conversation. Retrak's programs are abundant. They have an outreach program which uses soccer to introduce Retrak to the youth. Retrak also works to ease hunger, homelessness and internal issues by providing three meals a day and services such as counseling, basic skills training and foster care, as well as family reunification. 

The staff builds trust, and it is clear there is mutual repect between staff and the youth. Barry, who works with the youth as they prepare to go back home spoke about the importance of building trust. Once a positive connection is made the youth open up and begin to share their story. As Barry eloquentely put it, "They tell you what they keep secret in their heart."

Retrak is working to expand their program. Churchill, the Director has big plans and continues to see the immediate need for continuation of programs, as well as the need for expansion. Retrak is soon opening a new transit center. Churchill and his staff have big plans for 2013, stay tuned to hear more about their amazing work! 

A few of the amazing Retrak staff members
A few of the amazing Retrak staff members
Dec 31, 2012

Thank You!

At the Retrak Drop-In Center in Addis Ababa
At the Retrak Drop-In Center in Addis Ababa

As 2012 comes to a close, we at Retrak want to thank you for your support of our work with street children in Africa. Thanks to the generosity of donors like you, Retrak was able to accomplish some amazing things in 2012, such as:

  • Over 200 children were helped to return to a safe and loving family
  • Retrak’s 1,000th child came off the streets and into a home
  • Over 1,200 children were engaged through our outreach activities
  • Retrak’s US office, Retrak America, became a registered 501(c)(3) charity
  • African Union observer status was approved for Retrak
  • 30 boys completed small business training in Addis Ababa and returned to their families or are living independently
  • Retrak began working with street girls
  • Adding to our work in Kenya, Ethiopia and Uganda, a new partnership was formed with a group that works with street children in Tanzania.

That’s just a partial list of Retrak’s accomplishments of 2012. We look forward to expanding our work and reaching even more vulnerable children in 2013. Our vision is a world in which no child is forced to live on the streets, and with your help we will continue working to transform highly vulnerable children’s lives, preserve families, empower communities and give each child a voice.

Thanks again for your support. Have a wonderful 2013!

P.S. Please consider making an end-of-year donation to Retrak by clicking here.

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