Retrak America

Retrak America is a global leader in providing services to children living on the street. Our vision is a world where no child is forced to live on the street. Our mission is to transform the lives of street children from one of isolation, poverty, abuse and fear into an empowered life within a safe permanent family or independent living. Our dedicated professionals and volunteers provide street children with safe housing, medical care, education, counseling and skill training.
Nov 10, 2016

Stephen's Story

Stephen is one of many children in Street Smart
Stephen is one of many children in Street Smart

In Kenya, Retrak works with a partner organization called Child Rescue Kenya. Below is the story of Stephen, one of the many street children that CRK is working with.

Stephen is 13 years old, the second of six children. He ran away from home after taking some money from his mother without permission. When his mother discovered that the money was missing, Stephen was afraid of being beaten and chose to run to the streets of Kitale instead.

After one month on the street, Stephen heard about the work of CRK’s Street Smart program. He started attending the programs and was an active and enthusiastic participant in Street Smart's activities. In time, Street Smart social workers contacted Stephen’s family, and unfortunately Stephen’s father was very negative about his son and the possibility of Stephen ever returning home.

Currently Street Smart staff are still working with Stephen’s parents to restore their relationship, and they’re counseling Stephen through this difficult time. In spite of the rejection and hardship that Stephen has faced in his young life, he says that he wants to be a teacher when he grows up and finishes his studies.

Stephen’s life has been a difficult one, but it would have been even more difficult if it weren’t for CRK’s Street Smart program, which enabled him to move off of the streets and into a more stable future. Thank you for your support of Retrak and CRK. Please continue to support our work so that we can continue to work with street children like Stephen.

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Nov 10, 2016

Catherine's Story

Children Living at CCC in Lilongwe
Children Living at CCC in Lilongwe

In Malawi, Retrak works with a partner organization called the Chisomo Children's Club. Below is the story of Catherine, one of many children who CCC has helped return to a stable and caring home.

Catherine is an orphan who was born in Southern Malawi and lives there with her widowed grandmother and her four siblings. But she hasn’t always had a family and a place to call home. There was a time when Catherine lived outside of family care in the capital city of Lilongwe, 12 years old and alone, frightened and unsure of what to do.

Catherine explained to the CCC social worker that she dropped out of school two years ago because life was miserable without having food at home. It was hard to concentrate when she was weak with hunger. Amidst the misery and deprivation, Catherine was approached by a young woman who told her that there was better life in the city. She decided to move with her to Lilongwe to get a better job.

When she moved to Lilongwe, everything seemed good. The woman was renting a small house and she was well known in the area. Catherine observed that the woman used to hang out with different men, young and old, who also came to the house. Some stayed for a short time and others spent a night there.

After two weeks her friend disappeared and Catherine stayed alone for three days. She eventually asked for help from the Lilongwe police, who referred her to CCC’s Drop-In Center.  At CCC, Catherine received psychosocial counseling to cope with the traumatic exposure she had just gone through, as well as nutritious food, hygiene facilities and a safe place to live. In time, Catherine expressed a willingness to be taken back home. She returned home two months ago and it was during reintegration that CCC’s social workers determined that Catherine’s grandmother was a contributing factor to the young girl’s decision to leave home. The social workers involved other family members in the village to support Catherine and her siblings. The joint effort of CCC’s Lilongwe and Blantyre centers have contributed to positive results as Catherine is now fully resettled at home and back in school.

Catherine’s story had a happy ending, thanks to the support of donors like you. There are countless other children in Malawi who deserve to grow up in caring families. Please continue to support CCC as we work to return more and more children home. 

Links:

Sep 26, 2016

Zephaniah's Story

Zephaniah in tailoring class
Zephaniah in tailoring class

Zephaniah is a 15-year-old boy from southern Ethiopia. His father was an alcoholic who frequently abused both him and his mother. When he was in seventh grade, Zephaniah had had enough, so he left home and joined street life in the capital city of Addis Ababa.

While on the street, Zephaniah encountered many different challenges such as lack of food, nowhere to sleep, no personal hygiene facilities, physical abuse, and cold weather conditions. After living on the street for about a year, Retrak outreach workers found him and invited him to the Retrak Transition Center.

At Retrak, Zephaniah had access to night shelter, meals, recreational and personal hygiene facilities, counseling, and life skills and catch-up education services. He was addicted to smoking cigarettes, but was able to kick the habit  through consistent counseling.  He was very good in attending catch-up classes at Retrak and had an interest in continuing his education, but he worried about his family’s economic hardship, so he asked his counselor if he could learn a trade. Now Zephaniah is in the final stage of his training in tailoring and hopes to gain employment in one of Addis Ababa's small garment factories, which the training center will help him secure. 

Zephaniah was able to turn his life around with the help of donors like you. On behalf of Zephaniah and the other children in the Vocational Training Program, thank you for your continued support. 

Links:

 
   

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