Kenya’s RHYCO Program is Giving Hope to the Most Vulnerable in Society.
Kawangware is a slum settlement west of Nairobi with more than 600,000 inhabitants. Most live on less than a dollar a day and struggle to survive and feed their families. Layers of garbage, dirt, and human waste line the pathways between rows of dirt-floored homes made of tin and mud. The people who live in Kawangware face incredible challenges, from widespread unemployment and low wages, to rampant disease. Water supplied by the city is not available every day. Safe drinking water is scarce and expensive. Water born diseases, pneumonia, and malaria are prevalent as well as many airborne diseases due to the poor drainage system. As a result, many children and youth live on the streets, scavenging for food and are at risk of exploitation and abuse.
International Needs’ Real Hope Youth Community Organization (RHYCO) Drop-in Centre was established in Kawangware slum in 2014 to bring hope and protection to street children and youth. In conjunction with local agencies, RHYCO’s team of volunteer social workers is working hard to help reintegrate these children into their families and communities.
“It’s important that every child knows that their life is worth living and they have great potential.” • Martha Mwende, Program Manager
The RHYCO Drop-in Centre is a safe place where the basic needs of street children are met.
The RHYCO DROP-IN Centre offers services including:
- Home visits to facilitate sponsorship and reintegration.
- Play therapy, a library and informal schooling.
- Counseling services and social support.
- Linking children with rehabilitation and detox agencies.
- Street work to locate children including a community awareness program using puppetry.
- A feeding program and provision of clothing and showering facilities.
“It is our hope that with counselling, skills teaching, and mentorship, street youth will be able to find or create work for themselves and lead more fulfilling lives. We want to see younger street children reintegrated into families, going to school, and leading meaningful lives. The Drop-In Centre will help us immensely to reach these goals.” • Jocelyn Muraya, Director of International Needs Kenya
The RHYCO Drop-in Centre involves the entire community in promoting the welfare of children. The team works directly with the parents and relatives of youth, teaching them the knowledge and skills they need to help prevent their children from going to the streets. The team also engages in advocacy at a government level.
Support through child sponsorship and scholarship programs are offered to those who wish to return to school.
The RHYCO Drop-in Centre requires ongoing support to sustain its services to vulnerable children and youth.
Support the RHYCO Drop-in Centre for Street Children.
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