Kawangware is a slum settlement with a population of over 600,000, located to the west of Nairobi. Due to poverty and family hardship, many children end up leaving their families and living on the streets in groups of street children, becoming ‘street families’.
Children in the slums are often left playing in the streets and fending for themselves as their parents try to work for their survival. These children are often left out of education systems. They lack learning opportunities and stimulation, eat maybe once a day and have unstable home environments. Children living on the streets are at high risk of becoming addicted to alcohol and drugs, being abused and being exploited.
Real Hope Youth Community Organization (RHYCO) has been operating since 2014 in response to the growing problem of street children in Nairobi.
The RHYCO team is made up of four individuals, Bubba, Martha, John and Kevin, who each grew up on the streets themselves. They are now working to help other children who live on the streets. RHYCO particularly focus on supporting young children who are at risk of moving to the streets or those who have just done so. If reached quickly, the life opportunities of these children can quickly change.
RHYCO run a drop-in centre and work to support children living on the streets in Kawangware to provide them with non-formal schooling which can act as a stepping stone into formal education. The centre is open three days a week and hosts children between age 5 and 10. Due to limited funds, it is only able to run on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. The centre has several activities to support these children including counseling and therapy, learning literacy and constructive play. This is also a safe place for children to play with one another, and to receive food, love, and encouragement.
INUK started supporting RHYCO in 2017 and want to help them grow over the next few years to support more vulnerable children. In 2018/ 2019 we want to raise £1,500 to employ an Early Childhood Development (ECD) teacher to provide quality education at the drop-in centre. We also want to find sponsors for the many children RHYCO have identified as in need. Sponsorship will provide school fees, school materials and uniform, nutritious meals and access to healthcare. To Sponsor a child or find out more click here.
*We have changed Mary’s name to protect her privacy.
Mary has seven siblings and has grown up cared for by a single mum. They live in Kawangware in a 102 ft home made of aluminum sheeting.
The living conditions at home are very difficult. Mary’s family struggle to have enough food or water. They don’t have a toilet or electricity and they sleep in a single room. Most of Mary’s siblings are already living on the streets. Mary’s mother works hard to find informal work, cleaning and cooking, but with a low income, struggles to provide for the needs of the family. School is something that has not been possible for Mary or her siblings.
Through the community work of RHYCO, the team were able to meet with Mary’s family and identify their greatest needs and support them. The RHYCO team were also able to find a sponsor for Mary so she is now able to go to school where she receives a quality education and nutritious meals. Mary’s teachers are impressed by her quick progress at school. Through education, Mary will be better equipped to provide for herself and her family in the future.
We want to continue to support families like Mary’s. In 2018 and 2019 we hope to expand this work to reach more children and their families struggling with life in poverty and on the streets.