Laurel working with Esther & Boniface (CDTD staff)
Hi Everyone! My name is Laurel Booth. I have had the pleasure of interning with the Centre for Domestic Training and Development at the Talia Agler Girl’s Shelter for the past four months as part of American University’s Study Abroad Program. I am so grateful to have been able to contribute to the great work being done at TAGS. While interning at TAGS, I have gotten to experience firsthand the love and generosity that the staff have for all the girls at the shelter, and perhaps even more impressive; the strength, resilience and joy of spirit of each of the girls. The TAGS mission to Reach, Rescue, Rehabilitate and Reintegrate, is one that deserves to be spread across the world. By nurturing the potential that exists within each child, TAGS helps to build each girl’s self-confidence and her ability to drive change within her community; as our beloved Ms. Edith (CDTD founder) says “Educate a girl, build a nation!”
The principle project that I have been devoting my time to at TAGS is the commencement of the TAGS case file database. The world is rushing through the digital age, and TAGS is keeping up! We believe it is a huge priority to maintain a working database of all the entrants' case files in order to begin analyzing data patterns and trends behind child abuse and domestic labor in Kenya. The database will also allow access to information and stories that staff can use to keep track and follow up with previous participants in the TAGS program. Finally, it will be a tool to share essential case details amongst the caseworkers, which can help our experts provide necessary services to the girls. These living documents can be updated as the cases progress from admission and history, through the reintegration process.
Working at TAGS has taught me a lot, as I transcribe individual stories I learn more and more about the underlying causes that drive domestic child labor, and the trafficking of minors. Attempts to escape extreme poverty and the chance for education are key pressures that make many children vulnerable to false promises and trafficking. The damage that results is life changing. While TAGS is able to provide important basic services which include: taking care of everyday needs, education, psychological support and reintegration planning – these services are not available to the vast majority of children struggling to survive in dangerous and traumatic situations. The example of the girls at TAGS, the employees who work tirelessly, and the support from donors within Kenya and all over the world, inspire me and make me believe that if we all continue to do our part we can reach the children who are suffering, and begin preventative measures against the victimization of children in the future.
The CDTD and TAGS mission is to provide sustainable support for the children in our care and the ones to come. I hope you will join us this Giving Tuesday and holiday season by continuing your support for our organization through your generous giving and the spreading of our message. Every small action can help improve a life, whether it is sharing on social media, funding a meal, or the sponsoring of a child. We cannot continue to do the work we love without your help. Wishing you peace and joy in the holiday season, and energy and optimism in the New Year!