Wednesday is Bonus Day at Global Giving, when your donation will be given a 30% match! Please consider making a donation to Retrak so that we can continue our work with street children in Kenya.
In the town of Kitale, Kenya, Retrak supports Child Rescue Kenya's Street Smart program. There are an estimated 500 - 2,000 children living on the streets of Kitale at any given time. Child Rescue Kenya provides these vulnerable children with healthcare, remedial education, food, washing facilities, sports, games, justice and love.
Each child at the drop-in center has a story to tell, like Rose (age 7):
"Mama died and Baba ran away. Our neighbors helped but lost interest when baby Thomas became ill. We were hungry so I took him to town where a lady brought us here. Thomas didn't last, he had Ukimwi (AIDS). I'm ok now and am now in school. Nobody shuns me here."
And Erupe (age nine):
"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."
“My son is alive, he is not dead! Oh thank you God.” Those were the words of the mother of Peter, twelve years old, when Retrak social workers brought him to his home village for the first time since he ran away several months earlier. The visit was meant to be a short pre-resettlement home visit, but it turned out to be a resettlement, as his mother wept tears of joy at seeing her son again and all agreed that Peter should stay.
Peter returned home during school holiday time, and when the holidays were over he was very excited to return to school. But when Retrak social workers followed-up at the school three months later, Peter was nowhere to be found. The social workers eventually found him in the forest, burning wood for charcoal. He explained that he and his mother could not afford the school fees, so he was making charcoal to sell in order to pay the fees. The Retrak social workers returned to the school with Peter, paid his remaining school fees and spoke to the teacher about watching out for Peter and letting them know if there were any further absences. Now they're working with Peter's mother (his father died many years ago) to support her in income-generating projects so that Peter can continue his education.
Resettling children, making follow-up visits, and supporting income-generation projects are just a few of the many activities that Retrak does to ensure that each child in our program is able to grow up in a safe and loving home, and it's thanks to your support that we're able to continue our work.
This Wednesday, March 13 is a GlobalGiving Bonus Day. Any donation you make to Retrak will be matched by 30%. Please consider making a generous donation on Wednesday to help Retrak and the children in our program.
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.