September is here and I can't quite believe 8 months have passed since January 1st - the year is going so quickly. This term we are sending children back to school for the last stretch before their end of year exams, and for those coming to the end of their primary or secondary schooling - national examinations. It will be a turbulent term as the schools will need to close for a couple of weeks if a second election goes ahead (the results of the most recent one were annulled last week). That will mean a delay for the exams. It was lovely however to see the children going off to school, ready, if a little nervous, for the term ahead.
We have also seen two of the young men we have supported through education off to university this month. Abel is now in his second year at Egerton University studying a BSc in Agricultural Ecomonics. Jacob was recently accepted to Meru University to do Computer Security and Forensics. The boys are lucky as they both recieved good enough grades in their Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education to be able to apply for governmental loans to pay fees, but there are registration fees, accommodation and related costs that must be paid for and the boys need to have access to laptops if they are to meet all the requirements of their courses. We have set up a specific appeal for help to support them through GlobalGiving.
Our work at Birunda Rescue Centre is ongoing. We have recieved a few visitors from overseas over the last two months as mission groups who visit other projects in Kitale have come to see what we do and how we support our children through the reintegration process. One of the aspects of our work that always impresses them is the bio-intensive agriculture training we give to parents who have small plots of land adjoing their houses but have not been able to sustainably meet the needs of their familes. We train them to make the most of their land and provide a starter pack of seeds and other resources to help them diversify their crops and develop thier yields - making them better able to provide food, and income by selling some of what they grow. In this way, the children returning home from Birunda are more likely to stay in school.
Thank you again for all of support of CRK and our work. We are able to do what we do through the support of people like you.
Thank you to everyone who voted for our shortlisted image in the GlobalGiving photo contest. We didn’t win, but we did receive a number of votes and came quite far up the list. We very much appreciate all of your support!
It has been very busy here in Kitale. Last week we hosted Sander Degeling from the organisation Mobile School, a Belgian organisation that develop mobile school carts and train street-based social workers to deliver education. Their motto is 'If a child cannot come to school, we will bring the school to the child'. Their mobile school design is a portable classroom that can be wheeled out to deliver lessons on the streets and dump sites where the children spend their time. As well as delivering education, it is also a means of developing our relationships with the young people we support, and helping them to start the process of leaving the streets.
Sander came for a pre-visit, to find out more about CRK, to visit the projects, and to explore the streets of Kitale and meet the young people we work with. In addition, Sander delivered a number of training workshops for our staff. These were really interesting as they helped the social workers and teachers to reflect on their own individual identities and attitudes, and how they view the children and young people that we work with. This helps them to be more creative and resourceful when delivering the interventions we develop.
We are at the beginning of building a relationship with Mobile School and hope that we will work together more in the future. The picture above is one of Sander’s. It was taken during a night street walk that our social work team took him on during the visit.
We are also working hard to address the problems of food shortages and related increases in food costs in Kenya at the moment. A bag of maize (one of the most important staples in Kenyan cooking) has gone from kshs3500 to kshs6000 in the past 3 months. That is almost a 100% increase in cost. Sugar, cooking oil/fat, and beans have also increased significantly in price. This is having an impact on the number of children that we will be able to support in the coming months – which is especially concerning as the coming election may result in further instability. Such instability is likely to lead to increased numbers of children needing our help but increased food shortages and panic buying are making it difficult to find staple foods in the market place.
We have been looking at how we can meet the shortfall: we would like to conduct a bulk buying exercise as soon as possible, not only get better prices but to ensure we we have adequate supplies during any crisis caused by the election result. As a supporter of Child Rescue Kenya, would you be able to help us meet these rising costs?
Thank you again for all your support of CRK and our work in Kitale.
2017 is going so quickly that we can't believe that it is almost the end of May. The children at Liyavo are well into the swing of the school term and those at Birunda are getting to grips with their non-formal catch up classes - and a number of children are preparing for the journey home. Our teachers and social workers have been working hard to support the extra children we have staying at the centres as a result of the drought and last month's police round up of the children living in the streets.
Advocating for street children and telling others about our work is key to ensuring that we can support the children we work with in Kitale. In the last year we have been very lucky to have visited by a photo jouralist from Nairobi who has been spending time with the children living on the streets and taking pictures of their lives. Sofia Jern is hoping to raise awareness of the situation with her images and I have included a link below to a photo essay that she put together about the children. Her images are a welcome addition to our media profile.
One of Sofia's pictures, shown above, has been shortlisted by Global Giving for their 2017 Photo contest and I would like to ask a small favour of you. To win the contest we need to collect as many votes as possible. Please could you click on the link below and vote for the image. This takes only a few minutes and could mean that CRK wins $1000. The voting is now open and will close on Friday May 26th at 12pm EDT (4pm UK time).
I would also be grateful if you could share the link with your friends and family and on social media. It is a great opportunity for CRK to promote the work that we do with street children and youth. It is also a great picture - don't you agree?
Thank you all again for help and support of Child Rescue Kenya's work!
My name is Su and I recently started in the role of fundraiser at Child Rescue Kenya (CRK). I have taken on responsibility for our Global Giving Projects. We currently have three listed on the GG website and this month our report will cover all three together.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your support over the past few years. I have been in post for almost two months now and have seen first-hand the great work that is being done in Kitale by our social work team. I am looking forward to keeping you up to date with our work in the coming months. As some of you are new to the CRK family I thought that this report would be a useful opportunity to explain how CRK works.
It has been a busy few months. At the Street Smart drop-in centre we have worked with 122 new children since the beginning of January and continued our work with another 144. The rise in numbers has been partly the result of the drought in East Africa. More children from neighbouring counties hit by the drought have been arriving in Kitale to find better living conditions. Many of them end up on the streets. We have been working to help these children to leave the streets as soon as possible and return home to their families.
We have moved 68 new children, since the beginning of the year, from the streets to our Rescue centre at Birunda. Here they spend a period of time (up to a year) in residential care, attending non-formal education and learning important life skills, while they prepare to return home. At the same time social workers trace and visit the families to assess the situation and work with them to ensure that home is the best place for the children to return to. Sometimes children return to the street days, weeks or months after we support their transition home. There are many reasons for this: sometimes there is no money to pay schools fees when the children are able to go on to secondary school; sometimes the situation at home changes because of drought, illness or family arguments. It is important that CRK provides a safe space that enable these children to return to the organisation so we can help them through these issues. This year we have taken 20 children from the streets to Birunda that have been through the process before. In total 145 children have been cared for at Birunda this year, of which 34 have been reintegrated with their families.
When we are unable to take children home within a year, because home is difficult to trace if the child is very young or the situation is not safe for the child to return to, we try to trace extended family members, foster carers or alternative care situations. Our centre at Liyavo is a longer term residential centre where the children attend a local primary school and resume their formal education, while the social workers continue to work with their families or search for a suitable alternative. Liyavo is currently accommodating 11 children.
We are expecting these numbers to increase this week as about 70 children have been rounded up from the streets by the police. In Kenya, local officials respond to what they call the ‘problem of street children’ by asking police and other authorities to round them up. Often these children end up in remand centres. These round ups can be an annual event, and definitely occur in the lead up to elections, such as now, when politicians wish to show that they are actively doing something. This year CRK were approached and asked to take in the children. Although this is not the best method of taking children from the street, as the children must make the decision to leave themselves - usually after developing trusting relationships with social workers who can assist the transition - a CRK centre is a better solution when compared to a prison or juvenile remand centre. We can offer a tailored reintegration journey that could potentially reunite the children with their families. It does mean that the costs of running our centres will be higher than usual in the next few weeks and months. We will keep you updated about these children next month.
Until then, I wish you all the best.
Thank you again for all your support.
We started the year with lots of strength and gusto and remained hopeful that at the end of the year we will look back and celebrate our achievements – united street connected children with their families!!. This remains our core motivation as child rescue Kenya.
As we come to the end of February 2017 a lot of things are happening – Districts bordering Trans- Nzoia where we are have been severely affected by droughts. In areas of Kodich Westpokot County for instance it has been reported that children are no longer attending school and many have migrated to Uganda but we are saddened most by the recent happening in Baringo where we there are reported cases of child abandonment as a result of violence resulting from fights among pastoralist as they struggle for drying out watering points for their animals. Our fears are that the violence is escalating and we will soon witness an increasing number of unaccompanied children flocking into the streets of Kitale.
Cases of violence against children have been witnessed in Nairobi, Nakuru and Eldoret and now we have witnessed an increase in numbers of children fleeing to Kitale town recently in our outreach point in town we are currently interacting with more than 50 children daily an increase from our usual 25 that we have been meeting daily.
As we approach the elections we remain hopeful that they will be peaceful although politician aren’t helping.
These incidences are indicators to a year full of activities and we anticipate more children in town.
thank you so much for Continuing to support our work.
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