Every child in Africa restored into a transformed family impacting their community, generation and beyond.
We are living in times of unprecedented family breakdowns, whether in the West, East or in developing countries, poor or rich. This attack on the family fabric means that many children are growing up in an unsafe environment.Many have become homeless children living on the streets.
Tumaini Kwa Watoto’s Team has stepped into this environment as an expression of Hope and love! Declaring that there is hope in the midst of hopelessness. Street children, as they are commonly known, are the ultimate consequence of urban poverty. There are an estimated 150 million street children in the world and 250,000 in Kenya (Abdelgalil, 2004; UNCRC Report, 44th Session – Kenya). Kenya’s efforts to care for its less able members of our society and its poverty alleviation programmes have earned some admiration both locally and internationally. Even so, the problem of street children in Kenya’s major towns still remains to be solved in its entirety. Increasing numbers of children are often seen roaming about on the streets as well as in residential estates in most urban centers in Kenya. Most of these children are involved in begging, pick-pocketing, drug trafficking, child prostitution, scavenging, directing motorists to parking spaces and hawking or selling sundry articles of uncertain origin.
Available information tends to indicate that these children are either from poor or broken homes or are orphans (Wainaina, 1977; Wainaina, 1981).The issue of street children is therefore a growing problem in most African cities and towns. A problem that requires urgent attention as it threatens the very fabric of society. A starting point therefore, would be to get an understanding of who these children are and the factors that turn them into street children.
The number of children living and working on the streets of Nairobi was estimated at 115 in 1975, 200 in 1976 and 400 in 1977, (ANPPCAN – May 1991). Other sources indicate that by 1988/89, there were approximately 3,600 street children in Nairobi alone, while the national estimate was approximately 16,300 street children (Min. of Home Affairs and National Heritage, 1999)
By today, as reported above, there are an estimated 250,000 in Kenya (Abdelgalil, 2004; UNCRC Report, 44th Session – Kenya)