Over a decade, Kwetu has recognized the importance of street children in the development efforts and has devoted considerable resources to child development, especially in education.
Engaging potential sponsors
More efforts are geared toward realizing the mission to Rescue, Rehabilitate and Reintegrate boys from the streets of Nairobi back into their families. However, due to notable relapse cases after reintegration, there was a need to find ways of strengthening reinsertion. To promote successful reintegration, Kwetu introduced the component of education sponsorship. The first step was to engage potential sponsors to help with support for the newly adopted reintegration plan.
Introducing reintegration sponsorship
After the introduction of reintegration sponsorship, the Project continues to sponsor the basic formal education of children rescued from street life during rehabilitation, reintegration, and beyond for over a decade.
Factors that lead to children on the streets
Unfortunately, about 99% of the rescued boys are so vulnerable and poor that their families cannot support their reintegration. Most parents of street children are engaged in petty trade, brewing of illicit alcoholic drinks, begging, and manual labour. Hence, poverty is a significant factor in leading children into the streets of Nairobi.
Other factors associated with children becoming homeless on the street include; domestic conflicts, orphanhood, alcoholic parents, parents failing to show love to their children, abandonment due to disability, and verbal and physical abuse by parents and teachers.
In such situations, those reaching the reintegration period while still undertaking their primary education remain at the center to complete their studies on an extended stay.
Rehabilitation at Kwetu
For education support during rehabilitation, Kwetu helps the boys with daily school routine and introduction to basic numeracy and literacy, basic computer skills, English, and music. In addition, the boys are taught life skills such as leadership and teamwork.
According to the Kwetu education program report for 2021, 110 boys were successfully reintegrated into their families since 2017, with only 1 case of relapse by the end of 2021.
As Kwetu, we are proud of the increasing number of boys in elementary and higher learning institutions. Currently, seven youth are in university, five are in technical institutions, four will be joining college/university, and 34 are in high school.
Supporting formal education
The Project paid school fees for over 100 children under formal educational support in the years under review. In addition, educational materials like textbooks, calculators, and other stationery are readily provided for the children to enhance their studies.
Today, the Project continues to support feeding the children under sponsorship. Kwetu Home of Peace takes full responsibility for the child's feeding and upkeep in all cases. The staff of the Project also continues to embark on follow-up visits weekly (for children within Nairobi) to find out how children are progressing in their studies and to ensure that they adjust well to the school environment.