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NGO rolls out programme to rehabilitate street children through film, skills.

Right@Home Rehabilitation centre Director Gladys Chania (right) shares a light moment with some street children whom she hosted at the centre.

A Thika-based Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) has embarked on an ambitious programme to rehabilitate and integrate street children into the society.

Speaking at the Right@Home Rehabilitation centre, Director Gladys Chania Mwangi said that they were collaborating with several partners for the re-integration of these children, not only by providing shelter, but also integrating them into school and offering them a way back into society.

“We are partnering with several organisations to reintegrate these street families into the public school system and society at large through de-stigmatising them and impacting skills that they can use to earn a decent living,” said Chania.

She lamented that most programmes undertaken by various players including the government lacked concrete monitoring and gauging of their effectiveness thus the failure to eradicate or minimise the menace in majority of the urban centres in Kenya.

“Majority of the young ones have shown willingness to go back to school if only they are handled in the right way. These children are multi-talented and if these talents are captured and nurtured, it will be very easy for them to be integrated back into the society,” explained Chania.

“We intend to rehabilitate them from where they are by giving them life skills on how they can manage the trauma they have gone through and the issues they have faced in their lives,” she added.

To achieve this goal, Chania says that they have partnered with, among others, the Film Village of Kenya who will offer film and acting lessons to those with a passion for film, Partners for Care who will be training the big ones in fashion and design as well as Amo La Moda, a local youth group that will be training them in hair and beauty, besides professional modelling.

Action for Children in Conflict (AfCiC) has agreed to host those willing to go through voluntary rehabilitation and offer them a half-day programme that will include both rehabilitation and lessons on life skills acquisition.

Chania reckons that their long-term goal was to rescue and rehabilitate as many children from the streets and empower the poor community in the immediate neighborhood to increase their incomes and provide for their families’ health and well-being.

“We want to provide them with an escape shelter from drugs and the streets. We want to make them more interested in what they are gaining from us and less interested in drugs and the street life,” she concluded.

Thika West DCC Tom Anjere offered to enhance the assimilation into schools of all those of school going age for those willing to go back to school.

“My office will provide school uniforms for all those who agree to go back to class. We promise to work with with any stakeholder who is doing well to the community,” said Anjere.

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