We are honoured to work alongside our care reform partners in Kenya who coordinate family strengthening projects that reunite family members after years of separation. Around 80% of children living in orphanages in East Africa have living family members but are growing up in orphanages due to poverty. Families are forced to make the agonising decision to give up their children because poverty meant they couldn’t afford to provide for them themselves.
For three years our Senior Programme Officer in Kenya, Winnie, has worked alongside social workers to trace families of children living in children’s homes. We have reintegrated 63 children from children’s homes back to their own families and are now supporting these families to set up sustainable income generating businesses so that they never have to give up their children again. Through training and provision of a small amount of business start-up capital, vulnerable families are equipped to become fully financially independent and able to cater for their children’s basic needs within 18 months.
This was the case for Judith, a single mother of four children, who sadly believed that her two estranged sons, Newton and Peterson (pictured), had died. Fortunately, Newton and Peterson have now been reunited with their mother, having spent six years living in the Mbeere Orphanage. We are thrilled to say that Judith, her sons and their siblings are back together as a family unit.
As part of the family strengthening project, Judith’s children will receive financial support for their education and her eldest son Newton, is learning new skills in vocational training. A grant will enable Judith to start-up her own business selling children’s second hand clothes at market. The whole family receive monthly counselling and support sessions from Winnie to make sure they are all safe and happy.
Not only is Judith hugely relieved to be taking care of all her children again (pictured here with her daughter Naomi), but she is looking forward to training for her new business which will provide a sustainable income for her family.
Your kind donations has enabled the successful reintegration of children from orphanages into loving family units. With thanks to your generosity, we can make a positive impact on the lives of these children and their families who can look to a brighter and rewarding future, together.
With thanks to volunteer copywriter Lucy Farrell, who kindly gave her time to tell Newton and Peterson’s story.