Reuniting families in Kenya
- Date: 24/03/2016
- In: East Africa
Since November, with your help, we’ve successfully returned 32 children from our emergency shelter in Kitale back to their families.
We’ve currently got 77 young people living at the shelter. 41 of these are new arrivals, who came within the last three months.
Every child at the Kitale shelter is getting an education and loving care in a place of safety. We’re giving them healthy food, a decent place to live, emotional support and the freedom to play.
But we know that’s not enough. We believe all children have a right to a real family and we’re working hard to make long-term plans for every child in our care.
Jamal is just one of the children our team in Kenya has recently managed to get home to his family.
He tells us: “I was 13 when our father abandoned us. That day, I knew something was wrong as soon as I turned into our street. My little brother was standing outside the house with a huge bundle of clothes and bedding. Inside I could hear the landlord stomping and crashing around. He threw us out. Our neighbour said my little siblings could stay with her. But there wasn’t room for me.”
When our caseworker, Judith, found Jamal he was thin and anxious. He'd been sleeping rough at Kitale market. Judith managed to track down Jamal's mother. She wanted the children back but she needed help.
Judith worked with her to change the family's story. She helped Jamal's mum to get the children back to school and to start a small farming business that's turned around her fortunes. We’ve just heard that Jamal did well enough in his national primary exams to join high school. All the children are going to school regularly and Jamal is over the moon to be back with his family.
It's hard to find street children's families - and to make sure it's safe to help a child go home. But we do it.