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Government to streamline street families’ rehabilitation programmes

The government will establish County Chapters of Street Families Rehabilitation Trust Fund (SFRTF) in all the 47 Counties to synergise efforts of street families rehabilitation programmes being undertaken by different players at the county level.
Chief Executive Officer of the Fund Mr. Robert Njogu, said the County based chapter will bring together all stakeholders including Government, Non State Actors, Development partners, NGOs and Community leaders to tackle the challenge of the street families.
CEO made the remarks Wednesday when the board members paid a courtesy call on the Kisumu County Commissioner Mrs. Pauline Dolla.
“The structure will be useful in strengthening accountability and good governance of street families rehabilitation programmes at all levels,” he added.
The County Commissioner on her part asked Kenyans to re-discover the cultural ways of taking care of the most vulnerable members of the society to address the increasing number of street families and children.
Dolla said the growing numbers of street children and youth in our urban areas is becoming a major security threat to peaceful co-existence in the society.
“Most of these children are vulnerable to negative peer influence and radicalisation elements which was in itself a major security risk in the urban areas,” she said.
She noted that a sizeable number of street children and youth were involved in glue sniffing and taking of other narcotic drugs that tend to have long term effect on their brains. She said this influenced how they relate to the rest of the society.
“Drugs use has been blamed on some of the gory cases of murders and decapitation that have been reported in recent times,” she added.
The drug influence, she revealed was slowly becoming a menace even amongst primary and secondary school children to whom unscrupulous individuals sell sweets and other drinks laced with the addictive drugs.
“Issues of drugs have even penetrated the Universities and other institutions of higher learning,” she added.
Board of Trustees of the SFRTF led by Mr. Wycliff Swanya and David Wabwile said rehabilitation of street children needed to be undertaken in a professional and humane way to ensure their smooth reintegration back to the society.
Mr. Swanya said that the government takes cognizance of fundamental human rights of all children whether deprived even as they are removed from the streets.
He noted that the Fund works through partner institutions to undertake its operations.
He said partner Institutions which have been appraised and found to be supporting the mandate of the fund are given financial support to strengthen their activities.
Swanya said the government therefore encourages children mopped up from the streets to be placed in partner institutions supported by the fund.
The Street Families Rehabilitation Trust Fund (SFRTF) is a corporate body set up by the Government in 2003 to coordinate the rescue, rehabilitation and reintegration of street connected persons in the country.
It coordinates rehabilitation activities for street children, conducts public education on street families’ issues, mobilises resources and advises the government and other relevant agencies on matters pertaining to rehabilitation of street families.
By George Kaiga

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