The Daughters of Charity and their “13 Houses” Upendo Program are taking to the streets to commemorate the International Day for Street Children in Kitale, Kenya. Children are among the most vulnerable homeless groups, but their voices are barely heard.
This walk on the streets of Kitale is the first stage of a year-long campaign called “Home First”, to raise awareness about the situation of street children among families, the community and government departments involved in children’s issues. The end goal is to prevent the causes that can lead children to become homeless in Kenya, a country where many young men, women and children are subjected to forced labour, trafficking, domestic servitude, sexual exploitation and later end up homeless.
The campaign will consist of the three stages of training and talks to the children themselves and their families and stakeholders to learn how to identify and prevent the causes of homelessness. They will disseminate their message on local media to reach a wider public. They also aim to collect the best practices and share them at the final stage of the campaign.
As part of the Upendo project, the Daughters set up a drop-in center for children between 15 and 18 years old, as there was a gap in the services for children over 14. The Daughters provide healthcare, two meals a day, and the skills to create sustainable livelihoods for at least 210 children.
You can learn more about their work rewatching our webinar “Lessons learnt from “13 Houses” projects” with Sr Winnie Mutuku: