Kwetu Home of Peace: 29 Street Children Rescued from Nairobi Streets
NAIROBI, January 17, 2022– 29 Street children have been rescued and will undergo rehabilitation at Kwetu Home of Peace.
We’ve all begun to modify our lives in the aftermath of 2022, hoping that the New Year will be a benefit to us. This has not been the case for Nairobi’s street-connected children and families, who are facing new challenges, including a lack of shelter and space following the government’s order to close Uhuru Park and Central Park for modernized rehabilitation and retrofitting in the hope that the two parks will regain their former glory.
In response to the clamor of homeless street-connected children devastated by displacement in Nairobi, Kwetu Home of Peace successfully rescued 29 street boys from Nairobi’s streets on January 17th, marking its first batch of boys saved in 2022.
Kwetu Home of Peace has had a tremendous amount of success in reducing the number of street children on Nairobi’s streets despite the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic that has harmed charitable children institutions across the country.
Speaking during the exercise at Kwetu Home of Peace, Chairperson Street Families Rehabilitation Trust Fund (SFRTF), the Honourable Mary Wambui commended the work done so far by Kwetu Home of Peace and encouraged them to carry on with the good work of rescuing and rehabilitating street-connected children in Nairobi.
“We envision a county free of street families,” said Honourable Wambui. “It’s all possible through strengthening and supporting organizations that rescue street children such as Kwetu Home of Peace,” she added.
Talking about the street activities being carried out by Kwetu Home, Sr. Janerose Nyongesa, the director of Kwetu Home of Peace, said that the rescue program was timely and thanked Street Families Rehabilitation Trust Fund and all partners for making KHP’s mission possible.
“Our comprehensive approach integrates acute and primary measures and targets not just the secluded street child but the entire family,” said Sr. Janerose. “It has conclusively demonstrated to be a cost-effective, sustainable, and very successful model in reuniting children with their families and communities,” she added.
Sr. Janerose noted that Kwetu Home of Peace programs promotes an environment in which children have access to school and basic health care, therefore meeting the necessities essential for their appropriate growth and development.
26 Street Boys Rescued in Nairobi
NAIROBI, October 19, 2021 – 26 Street children have been rescued and will undergo rehabilitation at Kwetu Home of Peace.
Kwetu Home of Peace (KHP) has rescued 26 street boys aged between eight to 14 years, at Central Park, Grogon, Gikomba, Muthurwa, and Country bus in Nairobi–Some of the most common bases where children live while on the street.
Thousands of children in Nairobi, Kenya, are forced to live on the streets, a life of utter deprivation in which necessities such as shelter, food, health, and security are few. It can take weeks or months to find some of the children who have no idea where they are or are scared to live in families filled with violence, meanness, and a lack of food.
Rescuing, rehabilitating, and reintegrating street children back home and into the community is the core work of KHP.
“At Kwetu Home of Peace, we rescue children living on the streets, rehabilitate them—giving them a chance to grow and heal—and reunite them with their families,” said Sr. Janerose Nyongesa. Sr. Janerose Nyongesa, director of Kwetu Home of Peace, stated that the rescued children will be provided with basic services such as food, medical care, remedial academic instruction, and counseling while at the Drop-in centre.
“There is an effective care model that prioritizes the diversity of needs exhibited by the individual child,” said Sr. Nyongesa. “Reconnections between the child and his home and family are created with more care,” she continued, “so that essential family relationship is rekindled and nurtured during and beyond the child’s rehabilitation and reintegration process,” added Nyongesa.
KHP has had tremendous success in reducing the number of children living on Nairobi’s streets. As we near the end of 2021, more than 100 children have already been rescued from the streets.
Kwetu takes a holistic approach, combining curative and preventive measures and focusing on the entire family, not just the street child in isolation, which has proven to be a cost-effective, sustainable, and very successful model in reuniting children with their families and the community and enabling them to succeed in mainstream schools, outperforming their peers.
Kwetu Home of Peace extends a hand of gratitude to all our partners for making our mission possible through timely support towards the rescuing, rehabilitation, and reintegration programs.
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38 Boys Reintegrated into their Families
NAIROBI, Oct. 8, 2021 – 38 boys have been reintegrated into their families following two years of rehabilitation at Kwetu Home of Peace.
Kwetu Home of Peace reached a milestone having 38 boys reintegrated back into their families after completing a two years rehabilitation programme at a ceremony held at Kwetu Drop-in centre in Madaraka, Nairobi on Oct. 8.
During the two years of rehabilitation, the boys undertook formal education in the neighboring public and private schools. The boys also went through a well-designed skills training and talent development programme that is important in expanding their skills outside classrooms. The boys stayed at Kwetu for only two years but they will continue with their education even after reintegration.
Mrs. Sarah Kihoro, headmistress of Dramvale Primary School–one of the schools where the boys are enrolled to pursue their primary education while on rehabilitation at Kwetu home, urged parents to always try to understand their children, particularly boys who are neglected most of the time.
“The community should not use words such as “chokora” to refer to street boys, but rather use polite language that doesn’t stigmatize children,” said Kihoro. The expression Chokora belongs to the Kenyan street slang called “Sheng” (languages of the city’s neighborhoods) and it is used to refer to street or homeless children.
She also emphasized the importance of educating children and said education sets up children for future success. “Education is the key to success. Let us help children succeed at school,” said Kihoro.
Fr. Erastus Chege from Don Bosco Boys, a rehabilitation centre for street boys, led the mass during the reintegration ceremony. He thanked parents for accepting their call to join Kwetu Home Peace for the reintegration ceremony. He urged parents not to discourage children and reiterated that encouragement and good parenting are key to the success of our children.
“Let us be fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters to the children no one wants,” said Fr. Chege. “These boys will continue to have a special place at Kwetu home,” he added.
Mary Wangui, the mother to Patrick (one of the reintegrated boys), thanked Kwetu for the good work and urged the boys not to revert to the old life on the streets. “As a parent, I will support my children so that they don’t return to the streets,” said Wangui.
Stella Ayuko, a representative from Lang’ata Children’s Office-Nairobi County, reminded the boys that one of their duties is to be respectful and grateful at all times for the good things they have received.
Mr. Frank Lawrence, a former board member of KHP, urged the boys not to forget the good things said during the ceremony.
“Remember to keep with you all the wise words said for life,” said Lawrence. “Parents, remember your duties,” he continued. “Try to understand your children and support their education,” he added. “Let’s not be the cause for their return to the street,” said Lawrence.
Brother Joseph James from Patrician Brothers-Ruai Community thanked the visitors, parents, and Kwetu fraternity for all the good work done. “It’s not easy to bring up and take good care of the boys for two years,” said James. James reminded the boys to be humble at all times and wished them well in their upcoming endeavors.
Tabitha Kiarie, and friends from PCEA Nairobi West Health Board, assured the boys of God’s love and care. “Be different and yearn to make a difference and God will bless you,” said Kiarie.
Tabitha Kiarie and friends donated personal protective equipment that included face masks and gloves to KHP after sharing a word of encouragement with the boys. The PPE’s will help protect the KHP staff and the reintegrated boys against coronavirus.
Sr Delphine Mukwana of the Association of Sisterhoods of Kenya urged the parents to be welcoming and collaborate with sisters during the rehabilitation process.
Sr Gladys Nanjala, coordinator Ruai Main Centre, thanked the almighty God for his blessings and all he has done for the reintegrated boys.
“As I stand here as Shosho (grandma) to our boys, my heart is full of joy to see how our boys are transformed,” said Sr. Nanjala, “I vividly remember the day we came to pick you from different street bases in town,” she said.
“You were in different shapes, almost all of you were dirty, unkempt, and under the influence of drugs but we as Kwetu saw the image of God in you and that is why we invited you to come and share God’s unconditional love with us,” Sr. Nanjala continued.
“For me, I can say we are celebrating our common bond as descendants of our unique families,” she added. “Please go, learn, love, value, and embrace your precious culture and have a sense of belonging in your families,” Nanjala said.
Sr. Janerose Nyongesa, director of Kwetu Home of Peace, said that Kwetu has acted as a bridge to reunite the boys with their families. “As you know the bridge carries all the weight, while the person crossing over is comfortable sometimes not realizing its importance,” said Sr. Nyongesa.
“I earnestly ask you not to take for granted how this bridge has molded you to be where you are,” Sr. Nyongesa continued. “It is through God’s grace that you received transformation,” she added.
“We have done our part and I ask parents not to let us down,” Sr. Nyongesa pointed up. “Love your children and create time to be with them and listen to them,” she reiterated.
The reintegrated boys were then issued with commendation certificates to celebrate their successful completion of the rehabilitation programme at Kwetu. Sr Nyongesa issued certificates to 37 boys with each one of them being accompanied by their parents to receive the accolade.
KWETU HOME OF PEACE
The Betting Control & Licensing Board under the Ministry of Interior & Coordination of National Goverment donated school items to Kwetu Home of Peace.
The Betting Control & Licensing Board donated mattresses, blankets, bedsheets, a subwoofer speaker, and a toaster to Kwetu Home of Peace. Kwetu Home of Peace is grateful to BCLB for their support and continued partnership.
The Home is in need of more support with school fees and educational materials for the boys joining form one. “The donation has significantly reduced the cost of buying school materials for boys joining form one,” said Sr. Janerose Nyongesa, the director of Kwetu Home of Peace.
The United States International University donates school boxes, food items and stationery to Kwetu Home of Peace.
Kwetu Home of Peace received school boxes, food items, and stationery from the United States International University (USIU) Community Service program. The gifts came in handy when the Home is in need of support for the boys’ education as schools reopened last week.
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A Day of Celebration at Kwetu Home of Peace: Former street boy graduates at Kenyatta University.
23rd July 2021.
As a 14-year-old confronting the harsh reality of street life in Eastleigh, Nairobi, Bachelor’s degree in Community Resources Management and Extension graduate John Kang’ethe never gave up on his schooling.
Kang’ethe used to live on the streets of Eastleigh, Nairobi, when he was younger, after dropping out of school. He vividly remembers a point in his life when he was on the verge of becoming permanently homeless, but Kwetu Home of Peace took a chance on him and helped him get back on track and supported his secondary and university studies.
Kang’ethe emphasizes that his lack of self-esteem made it difficult for him to accept the chance and never believed that he will one day set his foot at the university gate. Universities, he felt, were not for ordinary people from the streets.
Kang’ethe, whose inspiration has been to become a community resource manager, is happy to have completed his bachelor’s degree and is looking forward to the future.
Rather than hosting a spectacular party with his family and friends, Kang’ethe opted to celebrate his success on Friday, 23rd July 2021 at the Kwetu Home of Peace, where he grew up after being rescued from the streets.
Kang’ethe stated why he chose Kwetu Home of Peace for the occasion, stating that he wanted to motivate former street boys at Kwetu to pursue education while also thanking KHP and Nyaatha Ray of Hope for their educational assistance.
“When I looked at myself and my history, I feared I’d never be able to fulfill the level and quality of education expected at Kenyatta University.
“But I was mistaken,” Kang’ethe said. “It was after getting assistance from the University professors throughout those years that everything started changing for me,” he continued. “I discovered that the material and practical elements of higher education matched well with my inquisitive nature, and so, I flourished after that,” he added.
While adjusting to life away from the streets and letting go of bad habits was quite a challenge, Kang’ethe remained determined and went on to matriculate and enroll for a Bachelor’s degree in Community Resources Management and Extension at Kenyatta University, thanks to a sponsorship from Jen Fife through Kwetu Home of Peace and Nyaatha Ray of Hope.
“The thrill I felt upon graduation was indescribable. “I am really thankful to Kwetu Home of Peace and Nyaatha Ray of Hope for their effort and determination in aiding young people like me to improve our lives,” Kang’ethe said. “Great thanks to my family for their support and above all, glory be to God for bringing me this far,” he added.
Talking about his plans, Kang’ethe, one of the many graduates who’ve benefited from the Kwetu Home of peace education program stated that his focus will be on lobbying for child protection against child abuse and substance addiction, which is often the root cause of family problems but is often part of a complicated web of coexisting issues such as poverty, social exclusion, poor mental health, and lack of education.
There were invited visitors in attendance, including Sandra and family-friends of Javier Aranguren of Karibu Sana, who had made a special visit to KHP. Dr. Paul Were, former chairperson of the KHP board of directors, and KHP alumni Francis Adede, Elihosam Okumu, Joseph, and Nicolas Kilonzo, among others, graced the occasion.
Sr. Janerose Nyongesa, Kwetu Home of Peace Director thanked Kange’the for his determination and endurance in school and called upon the boys at Kwetu to embrace education and stated that education provides stability and self-dependence.
She also thanked education sponsors for their commitment and support to KHP and Nyaatha Ray of Hope, and parents for collaborating with caregivers and teachers throughout the implementation of the education programs.
Sr. Janerose stated that with support, Kwetu Home of Peace can help improve the lives of less fortunate children through education such as John Kange’the and give a healthy and hopeful future.
“Individual donations are the primary source of funding for Kwetu Home of Peace,” said Nyongesa. “Individual donors may opt to become sponsors, which play an important part in assisting our boys in school,” she continued. “Sponsorships allow us to offer educational, nutritional, medical, and psychological assistance to children,” she added.
Sr. Janerose called upon well-wishers to support the education program at Kwetu Home of peace pointing to education as the true empowerment for street children. “Hope is a wonderful thing, perhaps the best of things, and education brings hope,” said Nyongesa. “To love is to share,” she added.
Kwetu Home of Peace: 30 Street Children Rescued from Nairobi Streets
NAIROBI, May 27, 2021 – 30 Street children have been rescued and will undergo rehabilitation at Kwetu Home of Peace.
We’ve all had life adjustments as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak in some way. This has been especially challenging for street-connected children and families who were already in need. Despite this, the Kwetu Home of Peace team has been successful in rescuing more street children, notably in 2021. 30 street children were rescued from Nairobi’s streets on May 27th marking our second batch of boys rescued this year.
This process has been made possible through a continued partnership that has for long proven to be feasible between Kwetu Home of Peace and Street Families Rehabilitation Trust Fund (SFRTF) under the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection, with a mandate to coordinate, mobilize resources, and fund rehabilitation programmes for street families.
The rescuing program was conducted along the Nairobi streets by Kwetu Home of Peace with officials from Street Fund that ended up saving yet another batch of homeless boys as part of a rescuing program carried out three times annually.
This program falls under the bigger project of the County Government of Nairobi that envisions a county free of street families through strengthening and supporting organizations that rescue street children such as Kwetu Home of Peace.
Speaking during the exercise at Uhuru Park, Chairperson Street Families Rehabilitation Trust Fund (SFRTF), the Honourable Mary Wambui said the programme targets to rescue at least 500 street children from the streets of Nairobi.
“We have today rescued 30 children. We have partnered with Kwetu Home of Peace in this exercise,” said Wambui.
The Nairobi street population lives and operates from several “bases” located across the city. Some bases are generally safe, however, others might be quite dangerous.
At Kwetu Home of Peace, we rescue street children, rehabilitate them (offering them an opportunity to develop and heal), and reconnect them with their families.
KHP engages in street activities and the rehabilitation of children who live in conditions of extreme social marginalization daily. The focus is on boys aged 8 to 14 who are exposed to the most terrible and abandoned situations, with the twin goal of assisting them and reintegrating them into an acceptable and healthy living environment.
Simultaneously, the initiative promotes an environment in which children have access to school and basic health care, therefore meeting the necessities essential for their appropriate growth and development.
The rescued boys are given basic assistance at the Kwetu Home of Peace drop-in center (food, medical care, remedial academic instruction, counseling, etc.). There is an effective care model that takes into account the variety of requirements displayed by the particular child.
Reunifications between the child and his family are formed with greater care so that the child’s important family bonds are rekindled and preserved during and beyond the rehabilitation and reintegration process.
KHP has had tremendous success in reducing the number of children living on Nairobi’s streets. Every year, more than 100 boys are rescued from the streets. Our comprehensive approach, that also integrates acute and primary measures and targets not just the secluded street child but the entire family, has conclusively demonstrated to be a cost-effective, sustainable, and very successful model in reuniting children with their families and communities and enabling them to succeed in mainstream schools, outperforming their peers.
Many thanks to Street Families Rehabilitation Trust Fund and all our partners for making our work possible by providing timely assistance to KHP’s rescue, rehabilitation, and reintegration programs.
We envisage a society in which all children have equal access to and achieve equal opportunities. Your collaboration and donations go a great way in delivering hope and changing the lives of millions of Kenyan children. Be a hero. Make a difference today.
To Love is to Share…
How can I make a donation by M-Pesa?
- Select M-PESA from the Safaricom Menu.
- Select PAYBILL from the M-PESA Menu.
- Enter our Business No: 734665
- Enter Your Name into the Account No.
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20 Homeless Children Rescued From Nairobi Streets
NAIROBI, March 2, 2021 – 20 Street children have been rescued and will undergo rehabilitation at Kwetu Home of Peace.
We all know our lives changed in one way or the other due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This has even been tougher for the street-connected children and families that were already needy. Even so, because of your generosity over the years and specifically in 2021, the Kwetu Home of Peace team has been able to rescue more children from the streets. 20 children were rescued from the streets of Nairobi on 2nd March 2021, marking our first batch of boys rescued this year.
There is a multitude of reasons why children decide to leave home to pursue a life living on the streets, and at times numerous factors are contributing to a child’s decision to leave home. These reasons and factors can be categorized into two major groups: Family-Centric Issues and Child-Centric Issues.
Within Nairobi town, the street population lives and operates from several “bases” spread throughout the city. Some bases are relatively safe, while others can be very violent.
At Kwetu Home of Peace, we rescue children living on the streets, rehabilitate them—giving them a chance to grow and heal—and reunite them with their families.
KHP carries out street activities and the recovery of children who daily experience situations of high social marginality. Attention is directed in particular to boys of age 8-14 years old who are exposed to the most desperate and abandoned conditions with the dual objective of supporting them and reintegrating them within an adequate and healthy life context. At the same time, the project favors an environment in which children have access to education and basic health services, thus satisfying the basic needs necessary for their growth and development that is adequate to their potential.
KHP has rescued street children for more than two decades, and in that time the institution has attempted a diversity of interventions to address the challenge of assisting these children who find themselves living on the streets. The interventions have worked effectively to help children living on the streets and lessened their challenges on the streets with great thanks to KHP’s well-trained staffing for all the good work that they do.
While at Kwetu Home of Peace drop-in centre, the rescued children are provided with basic services (food, medical care, remedial academic instruction, counseling, etc.). There is an effective care model with high regard to the diversity of needs manifested by the individual child. Reconnections between the child and his home and family are made through a more careful approach so that the key family ties are rekindled and sustained throughout and beyond the child’s rehabilitation and reintegration process.
KHP has seen immense success in pairing down the number of children who live on the streets of Nairobi. More than 100 children are rescued from the streets annually. Our holistic approach, combining both curative and preventative measures and targeting not simply the street child in isolation but the entire family, has proved a cost-effective, sustainable, and very successful model in reuniting children with their families and the community and enabling them to succeed in mainstream schools, performing well against their peers.
Great thanks to our partners for making our mission possible through timely support towards the rescuing, rehabilitation, and reintegration programs at KHP.
We envision a world where all children access and attain equal opportunities. Your partnership and donations go a long way in bringing hope and changing the lives of millions of children in Kenya. Be a hero. Make a difference today.
To Love is to Share
Street Children in Need of Support to join School in 2021
Over the past year, the staff and street children at Kwetu Home of Peace have faced many challenges emanating from difficult economic times in light of the Covid-19 pandemic. Throughout the year 2020, many of us have struggled to come to terms with the evolving impact of Coronavirus. And, at Kwetu Home of Peace, our organization is no exception.
Our work with street children is driven at all times by understanding that each child is an individual with a unique set of experience, aspirations, needs and challenges. Each one of us does his part and considers that the welfare of these children is our own responsibility.
This year, we held a graduation ceremony for 11 street boys on the 4th of December 2020 who have made the transition from the streets to the half-way rescue centre and have successfully completed their short rehabilitation program at Kwetu Home of Peace main centre in Madaraka. After being transferred to the Ruai Centre on the 6th of December 2020, they are now awaiting for their admissions into schools to start their formal education.
Can you imagine the hope in their hearts after leaving life on the streets, drugs, and stealing and now having a real future ahead? You haven’t ever seen such smiles on the faces of young boys as we did on that day.
Kwetu sees true progressiveness in empowering street children with life skills and encouraging them so that they may go out and build lives for themselves. Through experiences like these, Kwetu children are developing personal esteem and are fulfilling their responsibilities for supporting themselves, their families and other children in the future.
Moving on to 2021, Kwetu Home is working hard to realize our goal of enrolling all our boys who’ve graduated from the short rehabilitation program at the main centre into formal education institutions. Although we are facing some unexpected hurdles along the way, such as lack of school fees for the boys, books, food items while in boarding schools as well as uniforms and shoes, we know that we shall realize our goal through your generous gifts in kind and cash. To make this possible, we are kindly requesting your donations to help the graduated boys to join formal education institutions starting in January 2021. Together, we will continue to make a difference in these children’s lives.
“Before I joined Kwetu Home of Peace I would not express myself, I was untrustworthy and did not care what happened, said John Chege, a 14-year-old former street boy living at Kwetu Home, who has successfully completed the short rehabilitation program. My mentor has a lot of trust in me. I want to make him proud by re-joining school in 2021.” John said.
Just like “John Chege” street children are robbed of their dignity through communities’ ignorance and fear, but Kwetu Home of Peace has come out strongly to empower them and reaffirm their potential. Contrary to when the children were in the streets, now the majority of community members want to be associated with Kwetu graduates.
Truly, street children need your support to pursue formal education.
How can I make a donation by M-Pesa?
- Select M-PESA from the Safaricom Menu.
- Select PAYBILL from the M-PESA Menu.
- Enter our Business No: 734665
- Enter Your Name into the Account No.
- Enter Amount and Send
To our Donors: Thank you for your critical support
Many of us are struggling to come to terms with the evolving impact of Coronavirus. And, at Kwetu Home of Peace, our organization is no exception.
The situation is critically impacting our vital work being done on the front-line and beyond.
Thank you for helping us to keep on fighting.
To date much of the news has focused on Africa and then subsequently the impact on Kenya. We are facing a ticking time bomb, as a nation just like other parts of the world and communities without strong health systems or economies, who are far less able to withstand the shock of the pandemic.
Our organization is operating on a tight budget already, and we are now facing an unprecedented demand for services as well as an economic downturn. Your gift is crucial in helping us keep the support going for street children in Kenya particularly Nairobi where over 60,000 children remain vulnerable on the streets during Covid-19 pandemic.
Now more than ever we are all recognizing the importance of family to provide care, support and protection; and yet not every child has a family or home to protect them and for others their family is not a safe space.
In the event that you are able to donate funds at this crucial time, and would like to do so, please visit our donor page.