The Street Families’ Rehabilitation Trust Fund has warned institutions and individuals against using street families for their selfish gains warning that their days were numbered.
Speaking Monday during a one-day public participation on drafting National policy of rehabilitation of street children, the team leader Mr. Pius Wario said once the policy is in place, it will pave the way to make legislation that will protect and rehabilitate the street families.
“One of the policy objectives is to establish a policy coordination framework and governance mechanism on rehabilitation of street families,” said Wario.
He observed that some businesspersons and individuals take advantage of these vulnerable families to commit crimes like peddling drugs, stealing and sometimes force them to join illegal groups.
“What is currently tying our hands is lack of legislation that can protect the street children. Once we have the law in place, the issue of using children for selfish gains will be a thing of the past,” he continued.
Wario reiterated that the government is committed to eliminating all street families by rehabilitating those currently living in the streets and making sure no family live in the street in the coming days.
“We have a dream that one day one time; our country Kenya will be free of street families. Those that are already living in the street will be rehabilitated and integrated back to the community,” said Wario.
The team leader took issue with some homes started by individuals to rehabilitate street children saying the money given by donors to support these vulnerable families do not benefit the children.
“A child rescued from the street and put in a home should remain there for only six months before being taken back to the community he or she came from. During the six months they are in the specific home, they should be rehabilitated to fit back in the society,” he said.
Narok County Commissioner Evans Achoki, said the National and county government will work together to eliminate all street families and ensure the families do not return in future.
“As a county, we do not want to see our young people raising their families in the street. Once we have the policy in place, then we can make the law that will guide in eliminating the street families completely,” said Achoki.
The commissioner said the street families also have their right of living a decent life like any other person and are entitled to get identification cards, huduma numba and birth certificates.
Already, the office of Registrar of persons is processing identification cards of seven street children who have attained the age of 18 years old as required by the law.
By Ann Salaton