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.
We’re delighted to share with you the uplifting story of Catherine and Caroline, two sisters who have been reunited as part of our reintegration process.
Catherine is a mother of four children who are all under the age of 14 and in primary education, she last saw her sister Caroline when Caroline was just 8 years old. Ten years of sibling separation have come to an end, now that Catherine has been able to foster her 18-year old sister Caroline, who was previously living in the Mbeere Orphanage.
Catherine works hard in fumigation and cleaning services to support her family. However, with a grant provided by your generous donations, she is soon to start-up an exciting new business of selling second hand curtains in Kibera. Catherine is very much looking forward to a new venture which will enable her to self-sufficiently support the family members within her care. (Update: photo of Catherine in her new curtain selling business!).
With your generous donations, Caroline and Catherine have been reunited in a loving and thriving family environment. Caroline continues to be financially supported through secondary education and now she also benefits from a stable, familial relationship with her sister and her nieces and nephews. Catherine is very grateful for the emergency welfare and support that she and her sister and children are receiving during the COVID-19 pandemic as they are unable to work due to the restrictions currently in place (pictured above with a month’s supply of food and essentials). With your help and generosity we can continue to do this, thank you.
With thanks to volunteer copywriter Lucy Farrell, who kindly gave her time to tell Catherine and Carolines’s story.