This year the theme for the International Day of the Family is Families and Urbanisation. Urbanisation is considered one of the megatrends shaping our world and if managed well provides many positive social and economic opportunities for the people living in urban spaces.
This is not always the case however because in many places in the world the process of urbanisation can occur too quickly as large numbers of people are displaced from their home communities as a result of climate change, natural disaster or conflict and families seek a way out of poverty in urban settings. Unable to afford safe and secure accommodation in the towns and cities these families often move into insecure, unsanitary slum areas that lack access to government education and health services.
ChildHope and its partners in Africa and Asia work together with the marginalised groups in the slum communities, in particular women and girls and children with disabilities to create living spaces that benefit families and enhance their well-being.
In Kenya, for example, our partner Pendekezo Letu (PKL) works with girls and women living in the slums of Nairobi who face economic instability and provide for their daily subsistence by engaging in unsafe work, such as rubbish picking on dump sites. Girls drop out of school and work in order to contribute to the family income or take on child care responsibilities. In addition to missing out on their education, the girls working on the dumpsites are at risk of disease and exploitation and abuse.
PKL’s community outreach team connect with these vulnerable girls and their families and offers the chance for some 100 girls annually to participate in a residential rehabilitation programme that focuses on girls’ well-being and prepares them to reintegrate into mainstream education, as well as back into the family if the relationships have broken down. Alongside the rehabilitation and reintegration activities with the girls, PKL work with other family members including mothers and siblings to provide vocational training support so that the family is not dependent on the girls returning to work on the dumpsite once the 12-month programme is complete. There is also support to identify new accommodation for the family outside the slums so that they are living in a safer and more secure environment.
If you would like to learn more about Pendekezo Letu and their work in Kenya or to make a donation to support their activities, please contact Iain Disley
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