Chance for Childhood has been working in western Kenya for seven years. Through our local partners, we are supporting hundreds of street-connected children through the provision of quality education, psychosocial support and family counselling.
In 2014, 100% of 15 street-connected children we surveyed learning in non-formal education had learning difficulties. Further screenings of 32 street-connected children in 2015 revealed that over half of them presented expressive language disorders.
We saw that exposure to violence and abuse could make street children more vulnerable to developing learning and communication difficulties. This presents a unique set of challenges and without appropriate support, reintegrating them into society and mainstream education becomes difficult.
As a result, we recognise that more needs to be done to fully ensure that street-connected children receive the full benefits of our intervention and that we are not just meeting their current needs but also paving their way to a safer and more inclusive future within their communities.
What we’re doing:
Our LEAP from the Street project works across four Districts in western Kenya (Kisumu, Kakamega, Siaya and Vihiga).
- We’re training teachers, learning support assistants and staff from other street children non-governmental organisations on inclusive education so they can better support street-connected children’s special learning needs in both non-formal and formal schools
- We’re ensuring the greatest protection of street-connected children, especially those with special learning needs and communication disabilities, by training frontline workers, teachers, parents and community members in child protection and alternatives to corporal punishments
- We’re hosting communication camps to teach parents how to communicate effectively with their children with more severe and complex forms of communication disabilities; at the same time, we’re improving the level of care provided to these children
- We’re educating community members and reducing stigma towards street-connected children and those with communication disabilities
- We’re joining efforts with 13 street children organisations working in western Kenya to advocate and lobby for the rights of street children and for the recognition of their unique needs
With support from the community, schools and families, we’re working hard to improve access to an inclusive, quality education for street children in western Kenya. And we’re helping to build and strengthen the systems that protect them and that tackle the stigma that prevents children with disabilities from being treated fairly and humanely by their own communities.
This project is funded by Comic Relief