Blog written by Sherry Waweru – Senior Programmes Officer, Raising Futures Kenya
Meet Abijah, a grade six student in one of the public schools in Embu County. She is the last born in a family of three. Abijah was placed in an orphanage at a tender age after both her parents died. Life took a different turn and she had to grow up without her siblings and relatives around but with other children in Mbeere Children’s home.
In partnership with other key players in care reform, we worked gradually on the reintegration process and successfully Abijah was reintegrated back to her aunty and uncle and home community by the end of December 2017. She stays with her aunty and her family and attends a nearby public school.
Her aunty confesses that after the reintegration it was not easy for Abijah to cope. She was so used to living in an institution that she found family life challenging. Her aunty committed herself to support and train Abijah since she was not able to do even basic household chores; she didn’t know how to cook or wash utensils and mostly waited to be asked to do something. Her aunty says she is proud that she has successfully taught her most of daily operations and now Abijah is able to take care of her hygiene, cook well, organise her school work and basically carry out tasks without much supervision. Abijah was not affiliated to any religious activities but since she came to live in a family set up, she got interested in participating in church activities. She proudly informs us that she is an active member in her teen’s group and that she even attends classes and trainings to be baptised later this year. The cousins are all grown up and very supportive towards Abijah through socialization, mentorship and tutoring.
Abijah was a quiet and reserved girl before the reintegration but she is now very lively and able to interact more freely and speak with confidence. Raising futures Kenya has continued to follow up and support all reintegrated children and their families. The organization partners with parents and guardians, teachers and local leaders to monitor the children’s general welfare, payments of school fees and any other related needs that come to our attention. The office also organises and facilitates holiday meetings for all reintegrated children to meet, bond and share stories about their new lives after leaving the orphanage.
Without your support we would not have been able to keep these children with their families, thank you so much for your support.