“We think sometimes that poverty is one being hungry, naked and homeless. The poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty. We must start in our own homes to remedy this kind of poverty.” These were the words of a certain selfless woman who was admired by many for her charitable works. Santa T, known to many as Mother Teresa MC, went out of her way to helping the poor and the homeless and even went a step further to live among them. How more selfless can one be? 😟
When we hear of street children, we look aside in some form of disguise. A good number of us, and you can shoot me if I’m lying, do not want to be associated with these people living in the streets. But come on guys, let’s face this head on. For once. We have the will power to turn a bad situation better, or to worse. It is up to us, entirely.
In all fairness, there is no proper definition of ‘Street children’. In fact, I urge you to refrain from using this phrase. For example, it can’t be assumed that all children on the streets are homeless. The great majority- well over three quarters and as many as 90% of the children in the street only want to work to earn money for their families and return back to their houses. Or the place they call ‘home.’ However, some of these children in the streets are said to have been born from parents who themselves were street children. Now you see this chain reaction is a concern, right? 👿
Children in the streets are viewed as seemingly hopeless freedom fighters, who are neglected and seen as though they need some kind of pesticides. Sad enough, the majority of the common public response is rejection and hostility towards these street children.
We could take centuries, perhaps a life time chatting about the fate of Street children. Kenya shares this same plight as other countries like Columbia, Mexico, Brazil and our brothers south, SA, just to mention a few. According to research conducted worldwide, the reasons for existence for children in the streets include Poverty, Family and societal abuse and modernizing factors.
Allow me to highlight how this Modernization hypothesis comes into play. This contains some element of both poverty and family abuse hypothesis since children no longer grow up in extended families with strong community support. This isolation from the community is the genesis of all street families. That is where the “OFF THE STREET CAMPAIGN” comes on board as it aims to pay…
A Charity Visit to Empower Street Families.
This selfless and empathic Initiative was thought over by none other than Mr. William Ndolo, or Willy since he prefers to be a simple man. This charitable project conceptualized after he was crowned Mr. World Kenya 2016, Makueni county. Have you ever thought how you can impact someone’s life in a positive way? Here comes your chance. Napoleon Hill once said, “If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way.” This has been the motivation behind “OFF THE STREET CAMPAIGN.”
A study done in 100 street children in South Africa and also here in Kenya, showed that many of them did better in their mental functioning health than their equally counterparts who stay at home (Aptekar, 1993a.) They pointed out high degree of intelligence, a concern for each other, a positive attitude for the uncertainty of the future and also a good self-esteem. Many authors have pointed out that this act of leaving home to live in the streets is in itself an act of resilience and empowerment. Equipped with all this potential, ‘OFF THE STREET CAMPAIGN’ hopes to exploit these neglected gold mines, to make these street families independent and benefit the society at large. There is hope!👐🙌
How does this campaign aims to tap into this potential? You ask. Well, as sure as the sun rises from the east till dusk comes, every human being is in need of the basic human needs. Needless I repeat these fundamentals of survival. However, most of the time, being given fish makes us lazy and dependent on the fisherman’s abilities.
This campaign hopes to empower street kids and families to independence by making them realize their inner ability to succeed(teaching them how to fish.) Through this initiative, talents are given an opportunity to be exploited. I can’t cease to think of the many role models we all share, who were once in the streets but were given a chance to show the world what they can do. From Halle Berry to gunner’s Alexis Sanchez who would go on to wash cars, do acrobatics in the streets to bring in extra income for his family while working his way through the ranks of professional football. Forgive my biasness. An Arsenal fan had to do that. 😅 Closer home though; we have singers Bahati and Ringtone, Hip hop artist Juliani from Dandora and countless others.
The primary aim is to encourage independence at an early stage. This will be done by educating the mothers’ of these street children in social enterprises to eventually support their children. Previously, OFF THE STREET CAMPAIGN has reached out to street families in the streets with donations which we didn’t pride in. The climax of this year’s project is to give homes to at least 20 kids by empowering one mum to take in 8 if we get her a business and repay her rent arrears.
And it is with much gratitude that partners such as KCB bank promise to Make the Difference by coming on board. With the assistance of professionals from KCB bank, these targeted street families will be taught how to invest and save their money wisely. Aims to use them as money making ventures but now we have partnered with KCB to teach them on how to invest their money wisely (Basic Entrepreneurial skills.) Initiative to give homes to 20 kids will be the climax of this year’s project.
Knowledge and information is power; that is why Mathare Book Drive Initiative is another partner held dearly: Especially with the aim of educating and settling other street children in the slums of Mathare, Kariobangi, Dandora and soon to expand the territories.
One of the most important things one can do is to let people know they are not alone. No barrier surrounds a heart that loves their self and others. That is why ‘OFF THE STREET CAMPAIGN’ is open to partner with others in this charitable foundation.👋
Let’s follow footsteps of St. Mother Teresa works of kindness, as she led us by example.