Amici dei Bambini operates in four different geographical areas of Kenya: the city of Nairobi, the Muranga district, the Rift valley and the Ngong Hills.
Kenya has a surface of 582,650 square kilometres, with a population of roughly 37 million inhabitants (July 2007 data). It is a wonderful country, with a wild and unspoiled natural environment.
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A voluntary donation:
• By phone: call +1 646 287 3676 with your credit card data and tell us the country where you want your donation to be sent
• Bank transfer: Bank of America, 266 Broadway, Brooklyn, NY 11211 AiBi’s account number 483030124120, routing number 026009593 . Please, indicate the country where you want to send your donation
A country characterised by strong inequalities
The Kenyan economy is based mainly ion agriculture and tourism, with an annual growth rate of 6% and strong inequalities in income distribution. The well-being of a few people is paid for by the utter poverty of many others.
50% of the population lives below the threshold of subsistence. The child abandonment rate is very high. Poverty, illness and scarce availability of resources compel thousands of families to abandon their children.
The child abandonment emergency
It is estimated that 8.6 million children live in absolute poverty; 2.4 of these children are orphans and 47% of these 2.4 million are orphans because the parents died of AIDS. In Kenya orphans lose their right to go to school, are the victims of discrimination and exploitation through child labour and are exposed to the risk of child trafficking and sexual tourism. Thousands of children without a family end up in institutions: these are overcrowded structures, ill-equipped to guarantee new hope for life.
Amici dei Bambini started working on Kenya on a regular basis in 2008. However, it had already started its activities in 2007, supporting the Soila Masai Girls Rescue Centre in the Rift Valley, founded by the Kenya Children’s Home.
In 2009 we perfected agreements with several institutions with which we are now co-operating.
1) Kwetu Home of Peace – Nairobi
This centre was created in 1993 with the aim of helping street children abandoned by their families be reintegrated. The centre hosts 80 male children between 8 and 15 years of age, for a maximum of 2 years. The first activity of the centre concerns the rehabilitation of street children and, through participation in some daily activities, the teachers try to convey the importance of rules and hygiene. After the first adjustment period, the children are sent to school in the territory.
As soon as children reach the centre, the operators try to find their families and understand the reasons for their abandonment. The reasons that lead children to live in the streets are varied: domestic abuse, lack of food and extreme poverty, lack of a responsible family to care for them, abuse, especially with regard to orphans under the tutelage of guardians, influence of other children already living in the streets, lack of formal education.
Ai.Bi.’s action aims at:
- supporting children as they return to their family of origin or extended family.
- Organise some courses to teach older children a trade, so that they can earn something. A carpentry workshop, a hairdresser’s school and a knitting school have been activated.
- In order to rehabilitate care leavers who have gone back to the streets or who are in danger of going back there, through individual and group activities.
2) Soila Masai Girls Rescue Centre – Rift Valley
The Soila Masai Girls Rescue Centre was founded in 2005 to welcome girls at risk of infibulation (genital mutilation). The ritual of genital mutilation, quite common in African countries, is a true risk for the health of young girls, who are subject to infections, child delivery problems and HIV-AIDS infection. In the beginning the centre hosted 22 girls between 7 and 12 years of age, but it has been enlarged and can now host about 80 girls. The centre is located in a very dry area, where a Masai tribe lives. Girls are accepted in the centre when the social operators believe that they are at risk of infibulation. The girls remain in the institution until they are 16-17, when they are no longer in danger. There they receive an education, food, accommodation, medical care and participate in activities such as singing and playing.
Ai.Bi.’s action aims at:
- promoting the survival of the child’s link with the family of origin
- support the girls in their studies
- promote the right to water, for both hygienic purposes and the centre’s activities
- guarantee psychological support to help the girls overcome their traumas and find hope and trust again.
- support some income-generating activities, such as the care of a henhouse and the creation of workshops for the creation of handcrafted products.
3) Brydges Centre – Ngong
The centre was founded in 1995 as a reception centre for boys and girls up to 21 years of age. Today the association manages six institutes, three of which in Ngong:
Brydges A – Dandora centre, hosting 34 children of both sexes.
Brydges B – Kibiko Girls Centre hosting 28 girl children.
Brydges C – Elpaso Centre, hosting 15 children under 13 years of age.
Brydges D – Skills Youth Vocational Training Centre hosting 20 girls.
Bungoma A- hosting 38 children of both sexes.
Bungoma B- hosting 34 male children.
The majority of these children and young people are orphans coming from all over Kenya. The association tries to offer them psychological support, education, food, clothes and health care. They do not work much on their reintegration in their respective families, as they have insufficient means and staff to do so.
Ai.Bi.’s action aims at:
- Guaranteeing pre-school education to the children living in the institute
- Promote the growth of these children through educational and play activities.
- offering children the possibility of enjoying themselves also outside the institute, to allow them to learn about their territory, maintain their links with the outer world and develop their relational skills.
4) Upendo Rehabilitation Centre – Muranga
The centre, located in Muranga’s rural area, was founded in 2002 to gather girl children that had become orphans because of the HIV/AIDS virus. It hosts 41 girl children between0 and 14 years of age, 37 of which have lost both parents. Many of these girls do not have any relatives who can care for them, as they may be too poor or to old. The centre’s mission is to support these girls until they turn eighteen, helping them become self-sufficient and independent.
AiBi’s activity currently aims at purchasing new mattresses, so that each girl can have her own.
5) Kigulu Centre – Nairobi (Kibera slum )
The Kigulu HIV/AIDS Orphanage House association, registered as NGO, was created in 2006 by some people who decided to dedicate themselves to the care of orphans, people suffering from AIDS, children of HIV-positive single women , who live in difficult circumstances.. Today the association cares for 30 children, offering them one meal a day and basic education. Through its day care centre it keeps in contact with the children’s families and tries to teach them hygiene and the care of their children.
Ai.Bi.s intervention served to support the building of a new school for the children.
6) Wakibe HIV/AIDS Community Support Project (WACOSUP) Association – Nairobi (Huruma slum)
The Wakibe association was funded in 2002 as a reciprocal help Group in Huruma, and is characterised by a constant growth. Wakibe’s mission is to help AIDS/HIV positive people and support orphan children.
It carries out the following activities: management of a school for 40 children, all from HIV-positive mothers (five of these children are themselves HIV-positive); dietary integration for 20 children of HIV-positive mothers; management of a reciprocal help group comprising 30 mothers; income generation actions and microcredit activities in favour of the children’s mothers; organisation of local handcraft workshops; management of a clinic offering HIV, TB and malaria testing, as well as basic counselling.
Ai.Bi.’s action aims at:
- Identifying and assessing the pre-school educational programmes for orphans and vulnerable children.
- Train and supervise teachers and community voluntary workers
- Provide teaching tools and materials.