Rose is seven years old and has had more hardship in these years than most people have in a lifetime. Her father abandoned the family not long after her mother died. Rose and her baby brother, Thomas, were helped by neighbors in their village until Thomas began showing signs of serious illness. Rose had no other options. She and Thomas were hungry, so she took him to the nearby town of Kitale in search of something to eat. A woman saw the young child and her baby brother, and brought them to Child Rescue Kenya. Sadly, Thomas died of AIDS, but Rose is doing well, and says "I'm ok now and am now in school. Nobody shuns me here."
Retrak has been a longtime partner of Child Rescue Kenya. We are committed to helping them help street children in Kenya. On behalf of Rose and the hundreds of children whose lives have been changed by CRK, thank you for your past support of this very worthwhile project.
When the staff of our partner project, Child Rescue Kenya (CRK), first met Winston on the streets of Kitale, he told them that his parents had died and that he was living with his elderly grandmother who wasn’t able to provide for him and his siblings. He was the 7th child in a family of 8 children.
Initially, Winston didn’t want CRK’s help, as he was surviving by collecting and selling scrap metal. He did, however, agree to be taken home for a visit on the condition that the CRK social workers wouldn’t leave him there. At home, the social workers found that, contrary to what Winston had told them, both of his parents were alive and well and had been looking for their son for two months. Not only that, but his parents said that they had been providing for Winston’s basic needs and that he had been attending a nearby primary school.
CRK staff kept their promise and didn’t leave Winston with his family that day, but his parents wanted him to come home and told him that he would be welcome if and when he ever decided to return. Back in Kitale, CRK used a therapeutic approach to counsel Winston, and later he decided to go home on his own. He bid CRK goodbye and left for home, phoning CRK to let them know that he had arrived safely. Social workers have contacted his parents several times and were told that Winston was re-enrolled in school and was doing well. CRK will be doing frequent follow-ups to continue supporting Winston until he is completely settled back with his home and family.
CRK's vital work with street children in Kitale, Kenya, wouldn't be possible without your help. Thank you for your past support. Please continue supporting us as we work with some of the most vulnerable children on Earth.
P.S. Be sure to check out Retrak America's new website!
Those are the words of a six-year-old street child as told to a social worker from Retrak’s partner organization Child Rescue Kenya (CRK). CRK operates the Birunda Rescue Center in the town of Kitale in western Kenya. Birunda offers children a safe place to sleep at night, as well as food, medical care, learning and counseling. Birunda is the first step in a street child’s journey towards a stable and loving family home.
Brian, age 4, was another one of the hundreds of children on the streets of Kitale, but fortunately for him, CRK was able to intervene on his behalf. He tells us his story in his own words:
"On our way to visit my auntie I stopped to look at some toys in a stall. I had never seen so many. After, all I could see was people everywhere but not Mama Brian. I was lost, I know my village but not it's name. I was taken to an office who brought me here [to Child Rescue Kenya]. Now Mama is here and taking me home today".
Thanks to the work of Child Rescue Kenya, children like Brian are getting off the streets and being reunited with their families. Thank you for supporting the work of CRK and Retrak. Please help us continue this vital work by making another donation today.
Twenty years ago, two expats living in Kampala, Uganda, started playing pick-up soccer after work with a group of street boys. Little did they know in 1994 that over the course of the next two decades, this soccer club would evolve into a highly effective and respected organization that would change the lives of thousands of vulnerable boys and girls and their families in five African countries.
Oscar was one of the hundreds of children who walked through the gates of Retrak’s Clubhouses last year, taking that first step off of the streets and into a new life. After enduring many months of hardship alone on the streets of Kampala, Oscar found love and support at the Clubhouse. Oscar was a bit older than most of the children in Retrak's program, and with the guidance of a Retrak social worker, decided to pursue vocational training in metal welding with the hope of someday supporting himself independently. Retrak supported Oscar through his training and apprenticeship and assisted him as he transitioned into independent living, supplying him with support for accommodation, food, and a few simple tools.
Oscar is living completely independently now, working as a welder and saving money to start his own welding business and hire an assistant. He is forever grateful to Retrak, saying,
“I can’t imagine where I am now compared with two years back when food and shelter were my priority concerns. Today I can afford to eat what I choose and have a rented room for my home. Retrak you mean the world to me for without you I would not have had a chance to live again”
Our work is vital to children like Oscar and to the thousands more like him who are living outside of the protection of a loving family. We wouldn’t be able to do this work without the support of donors like you. Thank you for helping make our work possible!
#GivingTuesday has finally arrived! This is an exciting opportunity for Retrak, because Microsoft is giving a 100% match to any gift that you make to Retrak through GlobalGiving, up to $500!
Please donate soon, as matching funds may run out quickly. By donating to Retrak today, you can double the impact that Retrak makes with children living on the streets of Africa, helping them return to a loving home and family.
Your donation will help children like Ayana, a young Ethiopian girl who was sent by her aunt to a life of domestic servitude when she was 5 years old. In exchange for food and shelter, Ayana spent her days scrubbing floors, washing clothes and preparing meals for a family. When she was 14 years old, her employer beat her and forced her out onto the streets. Fortunately for Ayana, Retrak heard of her situation and stepped in to help. Ayana was reintegrated with her family and is living in a stable, loving and supportive home. You can read more about Ayana here.
Fred is another child who was helped by Retrak. Retrak’s outreach workers in Kampala, Uganda, met Fred for the first time during a regular soccer training session. Activities like these, held near the streets where the children live, provide a chance to get to know the children and for them to understand what Retrak can offer. Over the course of the following week, Fred joined in with soccer and other games, as well as getting good meals and attending the education and life-skills classes at the drop-in center. By the end of the week, Retrak’s outreach worker had learned that Fred had been on the streets for some time. Since he hated getting dirty and sleeping outside, he mopped the floor in a video hall every evening so that he could sleep inside. He had run away from home after his parents divorced and his father wouldn’t care for him.
After 5 months of counseling and preparation at the halfway home, Fred was able to return to live with his mother. He’s now settled at home and is back in school. You can read more of Fred’s story here.
On behalf of Ayana and Fred, and the thousands of vulnerable children that Retrak works with every year, thank you again for supporting us in our vital work in Africa. Please make a #GivingTuesday donation today!
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