Keeping a child away from the street


Back to our genesis in 1993

Walking in the streets of Nairobi and also in many of the city’s neighborhoods, one will more often than not come across a group of children begging for food or money to buy food. They are known as street children or “chokora” in sheng, a slang widely spoken by young Kenyans across the country’s urban areas. The term “chokora” literally means scavenging or scavenger.

Back to our genesis in 1993, the senior government authorities in Nairobi, Kenya, appealed to nonprofit organizations requesting them to set up programs for the destitute children in the city. According to a 1994 survey by the Social Service Ministry, there were 30,000 street children in Nairobi. Most of them were begging in the streets.

According to current estimates 50.000 to 60.000 children are living in the street. Although they may not be seen in the streets, they are in the estates, especially after school hours, during the weekends, and on school holidays.

The Kenya Evangelical Lutheran Church conducted a survey to determine whether the data indicated would be best to mix boys and girls or to admit girls only. Through the survey, was discovered that only one of the sixteen Centers that participated in our interviews cared for girls only. This imbalance in care was attributed to one cause: Girls are vulnerable to more problems than are boys. On the basis of these findings, KELC Women's Department introduced this program to help reduce the number of girls on the streets and to reach out to the desperate cases in the slum areas.

The program was started by Ms Ruth Abrahamson, a Swedish missionary, who was coordinating women activities in KELC by then. We started with ten girls by giving milk and bread and to date we have reached out about 270 girls through schooling and training for daily life skills.

Live, study, be a child
in Ongata Rongai

Here, you can learn more about the past, present and future of the children's home.