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Government, NGO partner to aid street children

Street children in Kisumu County have immensely increased in numbers in their quest for ‘greener pastures’ putting their lives at risk due to a spike of Covid-19 cases in the region.

To curb this situation, the Children Services Department partnering with charitable institutions have come up with the idea of helping these kids out of the streets and finding them a better place to live in.

Speaking to Kenya News Agency, the County Children’s Officer, Joash Okumu said that they have come up with several strategies to make sure that kids no longer call the streets ‘home’.

“We have identified various measures that will help save the situation of these kids which include but not limited to fostering children, guardianship, kinship, independent child support system, house headed child support system among many others,” Okumu said.

These Charitable Children Institutions (CCIs) will enroll the kids into various children’s homes where they will be taken care of, provided with basic needs and even seen through education. Furthermore, they will have the privilege to meet with the social workers and counselors who will guide them appropriately through their stay.

He said that they have come up with committees who will identify those with parents, and work upon re-integrating them thereby taking legal actions for irresponsible parents.

“These children are situated in different streets and therefore mobilizing them has been straining,” he observed.

He added that through this programme, there would be an initiative named ‘supported living’ which would act in a way that kids enrolled in these institutions would be mentored, and given full support until they attain the age of consent (18 years), where they would be given capital to start businesses to back them.

He urged other charitable organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGO) and well-wishers to stand and help them in this initiative as a move to clean the streets, and find a home for these needy souls.

“Those who can foster or adopt these kids, please follow the laid down protocols and help them in any way possible,” he concluded.

By Janifer Awino and Lorine Awino

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