Kawangware is a non-formal settlement ('slum') west of Nairobi, Kenya with more than 600,000 inhabitants. With less than a dollar a day to live on, most families struggle to survive. Children turn to the streets to escape parental neglect, violence, and substance abuse, only to fall prey to abuse and exploitation from older children.
The Safe House Project
In 2014, International Needs opened the Real Hope Youth Community Organisation (RHYCO) Drop-in Centre to protect these forgotten children. In response to great need, which became even more pressing during the COVID-19 lockdown, the Drop-In Centre is expanding to include more services and a safe house to shelter extremely at-risk children.
The main purposes of the Safe House are to:
- Rescue orphans and vulnerable street children from extreme situations of neglect, violence, crime, and substance abuse.
- Enfold them into a safe, loving, family-like, residential atmosphere
- Build their self-esteem, transform their lives, and start them on a new path
- Provide the children with basic needs such as food, clothing, shelter, and education
- Improve their physical and psychological health
- Provide socialization and recreation so the kids have a chance to just be kids
- Teach and support parents to pursue economic empowerment
- To see lives transformed so the children can be re-integrated into their families and society
Total cost of the Safe House Project: $35,000 for the expansion
plus $1,500 a month.