Ali is sixteen years old and has been on the streets for five years. He said “After my mother died, my father married another woman and she chased me from home saying am not her child. She used to beat  and forcing me to sleep on the floor and starving me”“The stepmother is the one who chased me away from home and I become a street child”. In the streets, we have many challenges and the police beat us at any opportunity.He adds “(on the streets) we live to share, We will die sharing”

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Reasons for running away

Poverty is one of the main factors in children migrating to the cities and the streets. Many children run away to escape from extreme violence at the hands of parents and authority figures.

There is a universal desire for self-improvement through education in children living on the streets, and many leave home after being forced to work because their families cannot afford the cost of schooling

Dangers on the streets

The situation children find themselves in is often worse than the one they left. Rape and sexual violence are common experiences for many children on the streets of Tanzania and Kenya, and Boys are particularly at risk.

Food, clothing, shelter are hard to come by, and children resort to scavenging on rubbish dumps or being exploited and made to work.

Helpingsteps is a community-based program that is situated in Kenya and is within the initial starting stages and for now, only offers a mobile community Kitchen. The Community Kitchen is not large nor is it capable of providing for all the children as it is limited due to financial constraints. It is critical to note that as for now the Helping Steps program is self-financed and is unable to critically address the needs of the children. While the kitchen community does offer food and water, it is imperative to cater to the overall development of the children. The program aims at offering a safe and hospitable environment for the children in order to cater to their needs and sustainability as they grow into adults.


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