We are excited to be writing to you because, despite the many challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, with your, support we have managed to make significant strides towards supporting survivors of human trafficking.
We finally have a new shelter! The HAART Shelter was closed in October 2019 due to serious incidents encountered with the landlady which threatened the victims’ safety, security, and privacy. We have been working on setting up the new shelter that was donated to us. It is located in the safe environs of Karen, Nairobi on spacious grounds for the girls to play and carry out various activities. In this period, we have been focussing on renovating the buildings so that they are child friendly and meet the needs of the shelter in general. We have managed to expand some sleeping rooms to accommodate more girls and converted other rooms to accommodate other activities such as therapy room, computer room, an administrative office, and a multipurpose room (board meetings, training, etc). We have also been doing an audit of shelter items and have a comprehensive list of items that need repair vs those that need replacing. We have recently hired a new shelter manager who is handling the processes necessary for reopening.
We have been reviewing our policies and procedures and updating them accordingly to meet global standards. We are now working towards having a fully functional shelter, the decision to finally have survivors inhabit the place will be guided by how the COVID-19 pandemic is controlled in the country.
We had a case of a 17-year-old girl whose father had planned to marry her off. The rescue was done the day before the ceremony by the area children's officer who referred the case to HAART Kenya. The girl was placed under the HAART guardianship program for a month being that our shelter was closed and external shelters were not admitting new children due to the pandemic. We were eventually able to place her in a safe shelter that agreed to take her in. The shelter is providing for food and accommodation while HAART Kenya is taking care of her psychosocial needs, purchasing of personal effects and medical support
HAART has 13 girls as beneficiaries of educational support. As reported in the previous report, it was in the pipeline to source for new schools after the complaint raised from the other institution. We had been in the process of sourcing for other schools for them when the schools were closed. The report from the Ministry of education is that schools will most likely reopen in January 2021, we will embark on this once schools reopen. We have been following up with guardians on the progress of the children, the lack of smart devices, internet connectivity has hindered learning for many girls. Additionally, we have seen instances where the children end up focussing on household chores as opposed to studying and have advised the guardians to try and balance this. We have continued to offer support services to the survivors and their families in their homes.
- A new shelter was donated to HAART Kenya, we have moved all the items from the store into the new shelter
- The building has been renovated, the sleeping rooms have also been renovated to accommodate more girls
- 1 victim kept under a guardianship program then transferred to a foster care home.
- School fees for the year had been paid for 9 children for one term and 4 children for one yearsurvivors who are receiving educational support
Our goals in the coming months are to:
- Reviewing our policies and procedures and updating them accordingly so that our shelter meets global standards.
- Sourcing for funds to repair and purchase the new shelter items that are necessary for re-opening
Again, all this would not have been possible without your continued support. Thank you for making a difference in the lives of survivors of human trafficking.