Last month marked the end of the first year of our Make the Change project in Kisumu, Kenya. Our project supported 48 guardians and parents of street-connected children in receiving business training, followed by the opening of bank accounts to receive each a loan of 9,000 KSH (approx. £60). The aim of our intervention is to help jumpstart small businesses in order to provide economic relief to families where poverty has been a major contributor to children’s neglect, school drop-out rate, and increased risk of running to the streets in search for food or money.
48 participants started a wide range of businesses; from setting up food kiosks to running a charcoal business to investing in farms, and to opening a second hand clothes shop! As a result, 123 children of these business starters have already returned to school, and no longer spend time on the streets; some families have also reported to have moved to better housing. Many businesses are picking up which means that loans are slowly being repaid.
At the end of this year our Kenyan partner KUAP will host a celebratory event commending the successes of our top flourishing businesses. We are very proud of all 48 participants with their drive and positive attitudes, and hope that their experience will inspire further families to invest in their children’s futures. We look forward to increasing our enrolment numbers for our second year and are confident that this project tackles the root cause of street children prevalence in Kisumu. With economic support, families can now send their children to school, fulfil their children’s basic needs, and even increase their living standards and status in their community.