Boma Rescue Center (BRC) is a daily rehabilitation center for street youth children, both boys and girls, between 13 and 18-19 years of age. Most of the youth attending the center come from Korogocho and Dandora, another smaller slum nearby. In addition to rehabilitation, the center was started to create awareness to the community and raise society’s consciousness about the problems of drug abuse, child labour, the plight of orphans & vulnerable children (OVC) and school drop-outs. Formation and empowerment of parents (most of them single mothers), is a fundamental part of the programme. Once rehabilitated and reintegrated in to their families or in schools, the children are followed up by a team of trained social workers for a period of one year to avoid possibility of relapse.
One of the main activities carried out at Boma Rescue Centre is street work, in which social workers visits the streets of Korogocho and Dandora municipal dumpsite, with special attention to the gathering palces for street people, commonly known as “Bases.” The social workers and counsellors establish mutual trust and relationships with street children and youth,, children involved in child labour and school drop outs in order to invite hem to the center. Once at the centre, the staff facilitate multiple rehabilitation activities including counselling, cultural and sport activities, spiritual and moral formation and basic education for the children for a minimum period of one year. They also facilitate a series of formation meetings for the children’s parents, guardians and family members on parental resposibilities, child care, child protection and education policies. Twice a year the center networks with various stakeholders and comm unity leaders to carryout awareness compaings on drugs, child labor and exploitation. These programs have had remarkable impact on improving child welfare and education in Korogocho and Dandora.
- The immediate goal of the project is to protect children against child labour and child abuse, rehabilitate street youth from drug abuse and to offer them life skills and behaviour change education to help them make responsible choices.
- The ultimate goal of the project is to create awareness in society on issues of child labour, child victimization and exploitation and child protection and education; and to create awareness about drug abuse and the plight of street children with the aim of creating a society free of drug abuse, child labour or abuse and child victimization and exploitation in Kenya. We network with National Authority for the Compaign Against Drug Abuse (NACADA) Kenya.
Detailed description of the center activity at Boma Rescue:
- Street work and rescuing of children and minors from the danger of Child labor, child victimization and child abuse from the dumpsite (Mainly from February – April)
- Individual counselling and group therapy;
- Informal education; tests and preparatory activities in view of joining formal education in primary or secondary schools;
- Recreational, cultural dances, art work such as drawing and printing and sport activities (this runs throughout the rehabilitation period from February –November)
- Feeding programme: one meal everyday to all children at the center (approximately 75-80 children everyday)
- Exchange programmes with other rehabilitation centres and/or schools;
- Regular staff meeting (to plan and evaluate activities at the center) and meeting with parents (to update them about the progres of the children and their needs)
- Public awareness campaigns (involving the community) and home visits to strenghten family ties
At the end of the year a comprehensive assessment of the children is done in order to the know their education level and plans to take the to formal schools (both boarding and dayschools).
Boma Rescue is staffed by: a center’s coordiantor with a BA in Couselling and Psycology, two licensed cousellor and two social workers. The center also employs a variety of volunteers, interns and experts to help in the day to day activities.