There has been an increase in the number of children on Kitale's streets. During the long school break (the whole of November and December) this is not unusual as many children just ;hang out' on the streets during an otherwise long, and boring, holiday. This is especially true for those in the slums adjoining the town and also those from close rural communities as the long holidays coincide with the rainy season/drought in Kenya. There is no work to be done on farms due to lack of water. So, in addition to children from the slums going onto the streets in search of excitement, companionship and ways of begging food or money, there is also an influx of children from rural areas who have nothing to do (or eat) on their smallholdings.
We hope this improves when children return to school in January but, sadly, not all return to school. Some have fallen into bad habits during the long holiday and have remained on the streets. Others come from families where the escalating cost of living and higher costs of schooling have meant the family could not meet the demands for uniform, shoes, school fees and, in the case of those in high schools, boarding requirements.
We have noticed a continuous increase in the basic costs of foodstuffs, schooling, housing, transport in the past year and this is hitting hard in communities that were already struggling. We have a young population and there are simply not enough jobs for those who manage to complete education. Many cannot afford to complete education and drop out to join the ever increasing army of 'hustlers' looking for any sort of casual work that will pay something.
We continue to do what we can though and rely on your support to help those who most desperately need a little encouragement and help to get them on their feet. Every child we reintegrate is celebrated and we can then try to keep that family together.
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