Non-governmental Organizations Intervention in the Rehabilitation of Street Children in Nairobi City County: a Case Study of Good Samaritan Children’s Home and Rehabilitation Centre
The problem of street children in Kenya has aggravated since its emergence. This has necessitated the involvement of public and private agencies to help reduce its effects on street children themselves and the nation. This research is on the intervention of Non-Governmental Organizations in the rehabilitation of street children in Nairobi City County using Good Samaritan Children’s Home and Rehabilitation Centre (GSCHRC) as a case study. The purpose of the research is to establish the initiatives used when rehabilitating street children, the constraints GSCHRC faces when undertaking the street children rehabilitation exercise and finally to establish the strategies applied to address these challenges. The study used qualitative methods in collecting and analyzing data. Purposively selected samples of 30 ex- street children, 4 alumni and 3 employees in GSCHRC and 2 government officials from the children’s section were used. Key informant interview guides and focus group discussions were the main instruments in this study. There are several initiatives used by GSCHRC to identify street children, get them from the streets and house them in their centre for rehabilitation. These initiatives include: the process of making initial contacts with the street children in their dwelling places, running a health programme, offering a comprehensive education programme to the rehabilitees, provision of food and nutrition programme, offering sports and recreation services and hastening the process of family re-unification. These initiatives entail the provision of basic social services and psychosocial support to the rehabilitees. A number of challenges have been found to limit GSCHRC to effectively realize its vision. Some of the main constraints of successful rehabilitation were financial limitations, poor management, recidivism, fragmented government and NGOs relationship, government policies and restrictions, registration barriers and poor educational background prior to joining GSCHRC. Finally, the study findings established that the Centre’s main strategies for addressing the challenges faced during street children rehabilitation were: sponsorship, building partnerships and networks and embracing legal provisions in the rehabilitation of street children. The study emphasizes on the need for collaborative efforts between the government and the NGOs in implementing street children rehabilitation programmes. The study underscores the importance of admitting street children in rehabilitation centres as opposed to them living on and in the street.
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