Back in March an incredible £11,000 was donated to our crowdfunder for a new safe space for children on the streets of Mombasa, Kenya. Now, we’re delighted to have it fully up and running and share the difference your support is making!
The support centre is the only one of its kind in Mombasa, and will support 680 children every year. It’s a safe space where children can access vital support away from the dangerous streets. And it’s your generous donations that have made it possible.
James was just 8 years old when he started living on the streets. Now 15, he told us: “Time on the streets was difficult. I was arrested, taken to jail and eventually released. There were many struggles, like money for food and finding somewhere to shower. Living like this made me realise that life on the streets is not good. I felt that I wasn’t meant to be living the life I was in.”
The new centre will be a haven for vulnerable children like James. Thanks to your support, hundreds of children will feel safe for the first time.
Watch a quick message from Bokey, the Founder and Director of our partner, Glad’s House Kenya:
The incredible Glad’s House Kenya team, who run the centre, will support children in so many different ways. The centre provides a holistic package of support to meet all of a child’s physical and mental wellbeing. Children get hot, healthy meals and have access to round-the-clock medical care, as well as specialist counsellors who help them overcome the trauma they face on the streets. And social workers create a tailored plan for each child to help them come off the streets for good!
Education is so important to helping children build a life away from the streets, so the new centre has two dedicated classrooms! Four teachers deliver catch-up lessons in basic numeracy and maths, preparing children to get back into mainstream school.
Over three years, Glad’s House Kenya has worked with James to get him off the streets and into safety and education. “Sometimes outreach workers from Glad’s House Kenya would go to streets to play football with kids living on the street. That’s how I was introduced to them. Glad’s House Kenya has helped me with a place to study, food, and clothing. They have made me feel safe. When I was staying in town, I was sleeping on boxes and when it rained, I would get sick. Now, I feel safe and if I’m ever, sick, I am taken to the doctor or the hospital.”
“At the centre, when you have a problem, they will listen and will help you figure it out. If you have trouble with studying, you can just tell them, and they will listen. Even if you are having trouble at home with family, they can help. If it weren’t for the centre, I would still be living on the streets right now, just roaming around.
Now, I feel safe, like there are people taking care of me and if anything happens, I know they will help me.”
We are so grateful to everybody who has made the Dr Philip Conlong Centre possible. It has been a dream of Glad’s House Kenya’s for years and will make a huge difference to the lives of hundreds of children every year. But it’s only possible with your support. A huge thank you to the Anam Cara Trust for their incredible support, as well as everybody who donated or supported the crowdfunder. We’re also so thankful to Harambe Schools Kenya for their fantastic work managing the build!
Thank you for being there for children like James. Together, we are providing a safe space for children living in the most difficult situations.
Images copyright Arete/ Brian Ongoro on behalf of Chance for Childhood