The role of christian pastoral care and counselling in the rehabilitation and reintegration of the destitute and street children in kenya: a case study of nairobi
A phenomenon of Destitute Children (D.C) and subsequently Street Children (S.C) is surrounded by mysteries, a magnitude of challenges and a lot of complexities. However, many people in Kenya are not aware on how to achieve a lasting solution over the issue of destitution and S.C in Kenya. Destitution and poverty have caused, accelerated and increased the number of Street children (S.C) especially in urban centres in Kenya over a period of time. Many intervention strategies and measurements have been applied by government and private sectors to deal with S.C problem, but it remains a challenge. In an attempt to arrest the problem of S.C, this study has been done to highlight what is happening to these children especially those in Rehabilitation Centres. Christian pastoral care and counselling are services that were found out by this study to be effective tools that, if well used, they would arrest the plight of the D.C. nevertheless, the study found out that churches in Kenya are doing something small about this challenge, though it is not enough. Majority of rehabilitation homes provide health care, general counselling, education, food, shelter and clothing. This is part of Christian Pastoral care (C.P.C). This study found out that 'professional' pastoral counselling of which it's an instrumental pillar within C.P.C is yet to be fully exploited in rehabilitation homes. It has fallen short of it's potentiality. Policies on destitution in Kenya have not fully played significant roles inorder to achieve success in the war against fighting the phenomenon on S.C. The aim of carrying out this study was therefore necessary. The study investigated the history of rehabilitation work over the S.C in Kenya. It found out some of the major causes of S.C especially in Kenya. It evaluated the types and services of C.P.C that are offered in rehabilitation homes. This is necessary since this study is seeking to find out what is needed inorder to advice on the way forward. It also seeks to help the churches and other agencies that have been designed to deal with S.C phenomenon, on what should be done especially on professional pastoral counselling. iv The study is based on both secondary and primary forms of data gathering. The secondary form data gathering was conducted in a number of libraries within Nairobi. Printed and computerized data was reviewed. Published books, unpublished research work, special reports and other documented materials dealing with S.C in Kenya were reviewed. Further, primary data gathering was conducted in six rehabilitation homes within Nairobi. Children and "parents" in those homes were interviewed and they also answered some questionnaires. Then, a few eminent leaders who have been involved with work of S.C were interviewed. All the data was analyzed and discussed in tables and figures. Field data was collected through questionnaires, formal and informal interviews, direct and indirect observations and there was reading of materials, like registers, children's personal files and computerized data. This study is making several germaine suggestions that will be categorized into two groups. One group will be on policy-oriented issues while the other one will be on issues that could be subjected for further research. On the first category, the study suggest that an application of professionalism in the Christian pastoral care and counselling services in all the rehabilitation work is of a paramount importance. This is where all agencies dealing with rehabilitation work in Kenya need to employ professionally trained care givers. The government is urged to introduce counselling as a compulsory subject at all levels of Kenya system of education. There is a dire need to have professionally coordinated policies on destitution in Kenya and well co-ordinated campaigns and seminars on D.C On the second category, this study suggests that further researches need to be done to boost this study and others. Thorough research can be conducted 011 social classification between the rich and the poor inorder to bridge the gap between these two classes of people in our society. Another research can be conducted on how leaders can be trained to specialize in Christian pastoral care and professional counselling.