HELPING HAND

Street children undergo rite of passage after being rescued by well-wisher

Gakii says some of the young men will undergo short courses to empower them

In Summary
  • Japheth Kirimi Kithinji, one of the directors at Mama Africa Home for the Elderly  said that eliminating street children is easy by establishing a rehabilitation centre.
  • This he said, will free the children from the street mentality, drugs, and where they can be fed with physical and spiritual food.
Street children along Tom Mboya street in Nairobi County on July 29, 2021
Street children along Tom Mboya street in Nairobi County on July 29, 2021
Image: WILFRED NYANGARESI

It was pomp and colour at Nteere Park in Meru town on Tuesday, during a graduation ceremony of 30 young boys who were rescued, rehabilitated and underwent a Kimeru rite of passage courtesy of a well-wisher  Irene Gakii aka Mama Africa.

Speaking during the event, Gakii who runs a centre for elderly persons at Githongo as well as Baby Blessing Rehabilitation and Rescue Centre in the same area, said they rescued the 30 boys last month.

She added that they have now been rehabilitated, counselled and given spiritual nourishment and were now ready to lead a decent life like other children.

After this process, she added, some of the young men will undergo some short courses in collaboration with Githongo Vocational and Training Centre. This is meant to help them get basic skills in various fields that can help them earn a living in future before handing them over to other training institutions.

“We would not wish to see these people return to the streets. We will therefore allow those who would wish to get back to school and others who also would wish to join some vocational centres for training,” Gakii said.

 â€œWe have a plan to enrol another lot after placing the ones we have in training institutes and taking back to school for those willing. We will then get back to the streets and rescue others willing to be helped. Our target is to ensure no street children in Meru in the next two years.”

Gakii said her initiative is not politically driven but a calling to serve God by saving the lives of the children suffering in the streets.

She called upon the County and the National governments together with other well-wishers, to join hands in helping the rehabilitated children access training, to equip them with the necessary skills that will enable them to create employment for other Kenyans.

Japheth Kirimi Kithinji, one of the directors at Mama Africa Home for the Elderly and a husband to Gakii, said that eliminating street children is easy by establishing a rehabilitation centre. This he said, will free the children from the street mentality, drugs, and where they can be fed with physical and spiritual food.

He added that ensuring they don't go back to the streets by helping them find ways for self-dependency is the key to getting children from the streets.

After acquiring their courses, he said, the children will be reintegrated back into their families with the help of the local administration officers.

Martin Muriithi, one of the beneficiaries of the programme urged people to stop despising the street children and branding them thieves because some of them are very innocent.

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