Helping steps is a non-profit organisation aimed at helping street children and homeless youths around the world. The main mission is to assist children living in the streets in Kenya by rescuing them, rehabilitating as well as restoring them to reach their full potential through counselling and education. It provides the children with basic needs including Food, Clothing, Shelter, Education, Healthcare ,Mentor ship
Thee project protects these children from harm by giving them a voice and a place to call home. In addition, it helps them to cope with their lives mentally, physically and emotionally while guiding them to a better future and realising their full potential.
One of the main social concerns is the growing number of street children, especially in developing world. Hundreds of children run away from home and start living in the streets due to various reasons. Chief among these include child abuse, poverty, neglect, peer pressure and sensation seeking. In Kenya, there are over 250,000 children who are living in the streets. These children have been orphaned by HIV pandemic, while others are refugees from neighbouring countries such as Somalia due to war. Furthermore, some run away from difficult and intolerable situations at home. Even though most of the children are orphaned, others are sent by their parents to search or beg in the streets so that they can return home with money. The issue has become alarming as some of these children resort to engaging in criminal activities or the use of drugs. Apart from this, these children also face other challenges including harassment, sexual abuse, violence, pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases and poor sanitary conditions. In the end, boys end up engaging in garbage collection or crime while girls engage in sex trade, or even become sex slaves.
one of the main motivations for opening this charity is to be able to give help and voice to those who are in need. From an early age, we have always been interested in making the world a better place for everyone. Our interest expanded
from our home area to other regions because we realised that while we may have a comfortable life, there are many other people out there who face a lot of challenges and cannot even afford the most basic needs. We recognise the challenges associated with poverty. We studied international relations in order to understand and have a better view of the world as a whole. Our dream is to see each child have a better life and a future that they deserve. Most of these children have a very good potential but lack the resources needed to achieve their goals. It is therefore Our belief that this project will positively change and save the lives of many young people because they are our future generation and have the power to change the world to a better place.
“Overcoming poverty is not a task of charity, it is an act of justice. Like Slavery and Apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings. Sometimes it falls on a generation to be great. YOU can be that great generation. Let your greatness blossom.”
― Nelson Mandela
The project aims at establishing a rehabilitation centre for about 5,000 vulnerable children living in the streets and slums. It will provide shelter, care, psychological support and nurturing of talent. This also involves creating an awareness on substance abuse which will ensure that the children understand consequences of drug abuse, including violence and unhealthy sexual behaviours. Helping steps will ensure that children receive the help that they need by building families to take care of them and shape their future, while at the same time developing and strengthening the surrounding environment such as caregivers, community members as well as social systems like schools.
The children are also trained to become active and productive members of their own communities by encouraging them to embrace their culture, religion and personality. This includes strength, weaknesses, feelings, thoughts and beliefs, in order to enhance their self-confidence, self-reliance and personal identity. Furthermore, the children will be able to recognise and also express their own individual abilities, talents and interests. The program will provide education and skills training so that not only can they positively contribute to the society, but they will also have the necessary knowledge and skills to be successful in their future lives and careers.
The final outcome of this project is to develop and strengthen the community in which these children live in. As noted, most of these children run to the streets due to various challenges they face in their communities and homes. As such, it is important to ensure that the grassroots or the base of the problem is taken care of or effectively solved. One of the main ways of doing this is by sharing the community life and responding to some of the most important social needs of the community, especially for the young people. Facilities and programs are established in order to strengthen families so as to prevent abandonment and running away from home due to lack of basic needs. Additionally, we join hands with community members in supporting self-reliance, education and healthcare initiatives
Helping steps ensures that children are well protected and taken care of by providing them with a place to call home. They are provided with food, clothing and a warm place to sleep. The housing arrangement involves dividing the youth into different groups depending on their age and gender. Therefore, there are four main groups and these are boys between the ages of 6-12 years, girls between 6-12 years, teenage boys between 12-18 and also teenage girls between the age of 12-18 years. The shelter is divided into 8 rooms which are allocated to these groups. In addition to this, the shelter consists of a space room for activities, Classroom, after school, psychiatrist room, football field as well as a cafeteria where they have their meals together every day.
One of the main aims of helping Steps is to ensure the complete well-being of children from the streets. They usually face a lot of challenges including drug addiction, psychological problems, malnutrition, poor health and abuse. As such, most of them are in great need of health services and close monitoring. The home consists of a psychiatrist who helps them to deal with the issues that they face while ensuring easy integration into the rehabilitation centre. This includes talking to them one by one, and also in groups in order to assist them to cope both mentally and emotionally. Some of these children have faced violent rape while on the streets or abuse. In addition, others have depression, anxiety and mental illness. They need to be assessed and closely monitored to come up with a way to heal them not just physically, but psychologically as well. Most homeless youth in Kenya use drugs and smoke glue in order to get them high to avoid dealing with the hard times they are going through while in the streets. The home has put in place rehabilitation clinics to assist them in dealing with drug abuse and get better. Furthermore, there is a hospital to treat various illnesses, as well as a nutritionist to advice on diet for them to live healthy life
Educational support is offered to young people through one to one sessions which helps them to improve their basic skills such as English, Mathematics, language and also IT skills. Some of them are enrolled in various schools outside the home while the younger ones are taught in the home. Apart from this, there is continuous talent development through classes which assist the youth in expressing themselves through drama, fashion, dance, music and photography.
All the children in the home are engaged in this. Not only does it help in talent development and acquisition, but it enhances interaction and strong relationship among the youth. It also builds on their courage and self-esteem. They are advised on life skills and career development including writing CVs. This involves a job readiness program which matches the strengths and talents of the youth to an appropriate career. They are also empowered by being given a chance to describe what they feel will make them better.
Helping steps provide care and imperative service to homeless, abandoned, abused and exploited youth. This includes food, health, emergency as well as continuous care and services to the youths. Even though the home provides all the basic necessities, it goes beyond providing just food, shelter and a warm place to stay.
We are more concerned with the psychological, physical and economic development of the children. The main services offered include educational support, in-house training, career development and job readiness, and also drug treatment. The programs are mainly aimed at ensuring a holistic approach to rehabilitation of street youth.
Each penny received goes towards providing food, shelter, clothing and education of the child. Donations can be in form of money, clothes, food stuff and also sponsorship.
“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi