Prevention –> Transitional Care –> Permanence
By addressing the primary needs of extreme poverty with food, clean water, and education, we can prevent children from migrating to the streets in search of a better life. Transitional care prepares street children and caregivers for life together as a family until the reintegration process results in permanence. Permanent care looks like a stable home for the first time in a street kid’s life which is facilitated by the Agape reintegration program that has been highly successful in Kisumu, Kenya and is soon to be replicated in Kitale, Kenya.
Read more about our specific projects below:
Every one of the 100 million children who live on the streets of our world deserves a home and a family. After working alongside Agape Children’s Ministry in Kisumu, Kenya for six years we have seen the development of their reintegration program that has provided homes and families for over 1,500 former street children. Until Then has chosen to partner with Agape to replicate this program in Kitale, Kenya where Until Then has been working for years. We want to give the street children of Kitale the same opportunity for reintegration to their original community. The kind of phenomenal success of Agape’s program is due to a very intentional program of Rescue, Rehabilitation, Reintegration, and Redemption. Please help us partner with Agape to replicate this program and bring the hope and healing of a family to the street children of Kitale.
After consulting with community leaders, local pastors and non-profit leaders, Until Then decided the first step towards improving the lives of street kids in Kenya was through community development projects. These projects address the issues of clean water, agricultural training and trauma-informed care for caregivers of orphaned and vulnerable children. We see these projects as a prevention strategy to address the issue of children on the streets. For the past decade, Until Then has been engaged in community development projects in Kitale and Kisumu, Kenya. The idea behind these community development projects is to create communities that can care for the orphaned or vulnerable children so that they do not migrate to the streets of urban cities looking for food, shelter, and care.
Clean Water Projects
The typical well in Africa costs anywhere from $10,000 to over $50,000. When organizations drill these type of wells the cost is so high that very few wells can be built in a community which means that people still have to walk long distances to get clean water. It is not unusual for people to walk three or four miles to get water. While these wells are an improvement to retrieving water from the polluted stream, they still don’t create the kind of access that provides the ability to easily obtain sufficient quantities to use water for cleaning and improving personal sanitation in addition to the usual uses of cooking and drinking. Because much of Kenya does not have access to clean water, it was determined that new methods of obtaining wells would be necessary if we were ever going to impact the problem.
By using a method first developed by Water for All and partnering with Dr. Russ Qualls, a hydrologist from the University of Idaho, to adapt it to the Kenyan environment, we have been able to drill over eighty-five low-cost wells. These wells typically cost about $1200 each and are drilled by a manual compression method utilizing a pulley system and locally available parts that we refer to as the “Flintstone Method” because of its simple and primitive nature. The labor is either supplied by locals who will benefit from the wells or we employ local street children. The pumps are equally simple in design and easily repaired. Multiple wells in a community that are easily accessible has proven to be a successful way to provide abundant access to clean water to reduce the number of deaths and illnesses in a community . By protecting the lives and health of children and caregivers, we find we can reduce the number of children being forced to leave their communities and live on the streets of the nearest big city and subjected to the harshest life imaginable. Preventing children from going to the streets is the ultimate goal of our water projects.
Much of Kenya is rural and agriculture has always been the backbone of the Kenyan economy and the lifeline of community and village life. Sustenance farming has been the reality for most rural Kenyans for several generations. Unfortunately, with the impact of the AIDS crisis, many of the adults who would be continuing in this tradition and raising their children to do the same, have perished. Many communities are struggling to return to the agricultural practices that have been lost.
Until Then has a team of Kenyan agricultural educators that travel throughout rural Kenya helping to revitalize the agricultural economies of these communities. Our trainings provide the latest information on bio-intensive farming methods (creating high yield crops from small parcels of land) as well as providing indigenous seed to allow for multi-year crops instead of the reliance on hybrid seed that has devastated the rural farming community in Kenya. Farmers are taught about organic farming methods including the use of organic compost that allows them to create their own fertilizer ensuring that the profits from their crops can go to caring for their families instead of buying fertilizer, pesticides and hybrid seeds from multinational corporations who have taken over the seed companies in Kenya. These profits can also be used to pay school fees which allow children to stay in school who are then less likely to head to urban streets to find a way to survive.
Trauma Informed Care training
The HIV/AIDS pandemic that has decimated families in Kenya,is one of the reasons that many children are now under the care of grandparents, older siblings, neighbors and others who were not prepared to parent children who have suffered such tremendous loss in their young lives. Our team of trauma informed educators has traveled throughout villages in Kenya to provide training to these caregivers on how best to care for orphaned and vulnerable children who have survived great trauma in their lives. The principles of such care can make the difference in an orphaned child living in an environment that feels safe and empowering vs. one that is punitive and uninformed about the impact of trauma and loss on young children. The trauma education is often done in conjunction with the agricultural training as part of the community development in that area.