On 19 July, ChildHope hosted a supporter event at The Shard. We were fortunate enough to be graced by the presence of Ms Sarah Mbira, the director of our Nairobi partner, Pendekezo Letu. Sarah shared on her experience working with street girls in Nairobi, and the critical work that Pendekezo Letu does. Pendekezo Letu believes in provision of holistic support to Nairobi’s street girls and does so via 5 core pillars, namely residential rehabilitation, economic empowerment, access to justice for children, strengthening community child protection systems and networking, lobbying and advocacy.
Sarah captured the audience’s attention throughout her presentation, particularly with the use of real-life stories. One particularly poignant story was that of Aisha and Kiama, two sisters who were enrolled in Pendekezo Letu’s rehabilitation programme in 2006. Before their enrolment in the programme, not only did Aisha and Kiama not receive education, but they also had to scavenge at dumpsites to support their family, including their parents who were HIV stricken and bedridden.
At the dumpsites, Aisha and Kiama were exposed to beatings and sexual exploitation by bigger boys, and to health hazards such as sharp metals and toxic fumes. Barely earning the equivalent of £1 a day, their family were often left hungry. Enrolling in Pendekezo Letu’s rehabilitation programme was a life changing experience, where the girls gained knowledge on child rights and self-protection, life skills training, and remedial education. This allowed them to overcome the trauma of working at the dumpsite.
The girls went on to pursue their education even after completing the rehabilitation programme, and today, both girls are in university pursuing bachelor degrees, something neither of them would have even dreamed of doing in the past. Since our establishment in 1989, ChildHope has managed to reach thousands of children such as Aisha and Kiama who would otherwise be left behind. Yet there are thousands who still require our help, and our supporters are critical in allowing us to continue this work.
A big thank you to all attendees for spending your Wednesday evening with us. We hope the event gave you deeper insight into how your support will continue allowing ChildHope and our local partners reach vulnerable children and transform their lives. Special thanks go out to Sapphire Systems for graciously allowing us to utilise their office space to host the event, and Maud Interiors for their generous first prize donation for our audience quiz.
We look forward to seeing more supporters at our next event!