Empowering families in unthinkable circumstances

Hannah Smith

Kenya is experiencing its worst drought in more than 40 years.

Its effects are having devastating consequences. More than 11.6 million people cannot access enough water for drinking, cooking and cleaning. Women and children are at heightened risk of violence and exploitation, and the drought is hampering children’s access to education.

With an estimated 250,000 children already living on the streets and over 60,000 in the capital of Nairobi, the situation in Kenya is becoming one of unthinkable proportions.

Bertolia Alegana, who works with BTO partner Alfajiri in Kenya, says that the children they’re meeting on the streets are taking enormous risks to give themselves a better chance of survival.

“Children as young as twelve are leaving their homes in rural villages because they feel like they’re a burden on their families,” Bertolia explained.

Bertolia Alegana, Alfajiri

Twelve-year-old Absko recently travelled 498km (309 miles) from Turkana to Nairobi, in the hopes of finding better opportunities. The lack of water and food has placed extra stress on his family and community, with Absko dropping out of school and being forced to find ways of providing for himself.

Thankfully, he was directed to an art workshop run by BTO and Alfajiri, who are now trying to find a safe place for him to stay while they work to reunite him with his family.

Bertolia explains that if they can get these children back with their families and give them a way of earning money, for example, by setting up a small business, then we can give them hope for the future.

“We believe in empowering and giving these children the upper hand, so they can find their own way,” Bertolia said.

Your generosity is what makes it possible for people like Bertolia to help children in desperate need. 

November 2, 2022

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