Help These Children Avoid Further Suffering

by Retrak America
Mar 9, 2012

Jemal's Story

Jemal at the Retrak Centre
Jemal at the Retrak Centre

Jemal’s story highlights the importance of reaching children on the streets quickly. The longer a child has been on the streets he more help they will need to recover from the abuse, neglect and loneliness of street life. The droughts in East Africa have made more and more children like Jamal run away from home, believing that life on the streets will be better. You support has allowed us to reach them quickly and work to offer them a real alternative to life on the streets.


If you want to support more children like Jemal remember GlobalGiving are having a match funding day! Starting at 12:00 am EDT on March 14th, GlobalGiving will be matching all donations made through up to $1,000 per donor at 30%. We have $50,000 available in matching funds. Matching will last until funds run out or until 11:59 pm EDT!#

Jemals Story...

Jemal had a difficult life at home with his father. His dad objected to Jemal being at school and wanted him to work and provide the family with money.  With money and food being so short at home Jemal left school and tried to support his father. Gradually their relationship got worse and worse and Jemal decided to run away. Just like thousands of other children he believed that he would find opportunities in the city to make a new life on his own.

When Jemal arrived at the city he was soon realized that life on his own on the street was hard. He had nowhere to go was hungry, cold and fearful of the other people on the street. He was confused and had no idea of what he should do or where he could get help.

One evening he met the Retrak social workers on the streets. They chatted to him and invited him to the Retrak drop-in centre.  The Retrak workers knew that they had a much better chance of helping Jemal if they got him off the streets quickly.

Jemal accepted their invitation to come and attend the program.  When he arrived at the centre he started talking to the social workers about his problems and about his dad he started to cry and cry, remembering his life at home and regretting deeply his decision to run away.    

He decided that maybe life at home wasn’t as bad as he thought and compared to life on the streets he would much rather be with his family. Retrak contacted Jemals father to let him know he was safe. His father was delighted to know that his son was safe and that he wanted to return home. A week later accompanied by the Retrak social workers Jemal went back to his family. The social worker was able to help Jemal overcome his fear of facing his father again. Jemal and his father were overjoyed to be back together again. The social workers talked to them about where their relationship had broken down and Jemal told his dad how much he wanted to be in school. His father agreed that the family would work hard to keep Jemal in school. He was proud of his son for wanting to work hard on his education.

Jemal is now back at school and much happier he is with his family. On the last follow-up call from the social visit his family expressed delight at the changes they have seen in Jemal’s and how happy they were to have their boy safe and home.

Thanks to your support Retrak have been able to help over 1000 children return home to their families just like Jemal!

We couldn't have done this without you.

The Retrak Team want to say a huge thank you!


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Organization Information

Retrak America

Location: Washington, DC - USA
Website: https:/​/​​
Project Leader:
Joan Townsend
US Country Director
Washington, DC United States

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Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.

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