Our Services

The program is dedicated to the development of the child, from the first day of contact on the street until the day the child has graduated into society. We believe that only prayer and the grace of God can change the hearts of these children. Along with prayer, this challenging journey has been broken down into four steps, as discussed below:

”The Lost Sheep” (Outreach)

Social workers and staff make contact with children on the streets or in the slums and invite them to our center. Children can also be referred to RAHA Kids by the children’s department, local police, or the community.

”Be renewed” (Rehabilitation)

The staff works enthusiastically in the areas of counseling,education, discipline and developing the child’s self esteem;essentially to restore social & emotional health to the child to be able to successfully operate in school, work, family and society at large.

”Plans to Prosper”(Long-term Care)

Our staff explores a custom solution for each child. For some children, reintegration into their family or extended family may be the solution. For others, it may be a foster family or boarding school. For others still, learning a trade may be the most suitable path.

”A Future & A hope “(Reintegration)

By the end of process, children should be equipped with the skills they need in order to return to life outside of RAHA Kids. We help them establish themselves economically, socially, and spiritually, thus preparing them for a bright & hopeful future.

Who are we ?

Raha kids is a rehabilitation and reintegration program for street children and OVCs (a program of the coptic Orthodox Church).

Raha Kids is working hard to restore the physical, emotional and spiritual health of these children living on the streets who has been orphaned, abandoned, neglected, abused or otherwise exploited. We deal with each child according to his own needs and circumstances, and devise a personal solution that can work for each child. RAHA endeavors to nurture in each child an environment of love, security, productivity, social maturity and above all an assurance that God loves them.

Our Approach 

Many  children we receive at the daytime drop-in center are very willing and ready to change. But since they still spend their nights on the streets, they are often discouraged by the horror and abuse they face there. As such, we believe that if RAHA Kids is to succeed in the rehabilitation and reintegration of street children, a triple-faceted approach is critical:

  1. RAHA Kids Daytime Drop-in Center: For Rehabilitation, food, hygiene, behavioral changes, non-formal education, counseling, medical care and recreation.
  2. RAHA Kids Rescue Center: Where select children will spend the night after their day at the drop-in center until a permanent solution is found, to optimize the rehabilitation process.
  3. RAHA Children’s Home:  It serves as a long-term home for children, and caters to their special needs. Children lives here until they are old enough, mature enough, and equipped enough to provide and support themselves and even start their own family.

RECEIVING CHILDREN IN JESUS’ NAME

And when they came to Capernaum; and when he was in the house he asked them, “What were you discussing on the way?” But they were silent; for on the way they had discussed with one another who was the greatest. And he sat down and called the twelve; and he said to them, “If any one would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.” And he took a child and put him in the midst of them; and taking him in his arms, he said to them, “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me; and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me.”

Receiving Children in Jesus’ Name—Receiving God

Now comes the second thing Jesus said (v. 37), and it is utterly unexpected. We might have expected him to pick up on his point in verse 35 and apply it to children. Something like: “Now here’s a child. The person in our society that men don’t serve. The person men don’t take the time for. The person you don’t think is worth your time. Well I am showing you that children are worth your time. They are significant. When you receive one of them and serve one of them, you are serving a person just as valuable as the emperor of Rome.”

But that is not what Jesus says. Jesus turns the whole discussion away from the value of the child to the value of God. This is what is so different about Jesus and about the Bible—even from many of our Christian child-advocates writing today. Jesus says: “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me; and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me.”

Two Utterly Crucial Elements to Caring for Children

Two things are utterly crucial in caring for children. One: is it done in Jesus’ name? “Whoever receives one such child in my name . . . ” Ministering to children in any way but in the name of Jesus, does not fulfill the will of Jesus. And the second crucial thing in caring for children is that we do it with a longing to experience more of Jesus and more of the One who sent him, God the Father. “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me and whoever receives me receives not me but the One who sent me.”

Why does he say this? Why does he bring everything to a focus on God and the value of receiving more of God? Do you ever want to say to Jesus, “Lighten up! Does everything always have to be theological?” The answer is yes, it does. For Jesus everything has to do with God, or it is fundamentally distorted.

How to Serve Children Best and Why

And if someone asks, What about the children? Aren’t you supposed to serve the children because of the children? Surely the answer of Jesus here is this: you serve a child best when you receive a child and care for a child and spend time with a child and hold a child NOT in the name of the child, or in the name of mankind or in the name of mercy or in the name of America’s future, but in the name of Jesus, the Son of the living God. And you serve children best when you receive a child not merely because your joy is first in the child, but first and finally in God.

Why is this the best way to serve? Because the most important blessing you can give to a child is the all-satisfying centrality of God in life. And, believe me, this is caught more than taught. And that’s why you must serve them in this way; you would lead them in this way.

STREET CHILDREN STRUGGLE FOR SURVIVAL IN KENYA

Ragged, hungry and rejected by society, thousands of street children abandoned by nearly all live in the Kenyan capital Nairobi.

There is no official figure on the number of homeless children in Kenya, a sign of the lack of interest by Kenyan authorities of the problem.

One estimate, by the Consortium of Street Children (CSC), an international charity, suggests the number of street children could be as high as between 250,000 and 300,000 throughout Kenya, including 60,000 in Nairobi alone.

In the district of Mlango Kubwa in central Nairobi, a former landfill is a refuge for street children, who call it “the base”.

Here they sleep on the hard floor, close to the rubbish dumps where they scavenge for scraps to make some profit, but at least the place is safe from outside eyes.

A few hours after dawn, some children are still lying on the ground, the plastic bottles from which they sniff glue beside them. Other spaces are empty, with those youngsters having headed off to work, begging on the streets.

“When people see some of these kids, they do not take them as human beings,” said Moha, himself a former street child, who escaped the tough life, and ekes out a living now dancing alongside bands. “When people see them sniffing glue and dirty, they beat them or insult them.”

Some children are pushed onto the street following the death of parents — sometimes due to HIV/AIDS — or after running away from violence at home. Others live on the street simply because their families are too poor to look after them.

 

‘ACT OF DESPAIR’

“It is quite difficult to describe the situation… you find if they sleep outside someone’s shop, in the morning, instead of the owner waking them up gently, they kick them or even pour water on them,” Moha said.

Many leave their rural areas – where traditional community ties have loosened – for cities, where they have more chance of surviving by begging, finding odd jobs, scavenging rubbish sites, or prostitution.

Abandoned by the state, several charities offer help. Alfajiri is one of them, a project set up by Australian artist Lenore Boyd, who offers drawing lessons.

“It’s just to invite the kids, to get them to create. It’s not to teach them, it’s not to impose anything on them,” Boyd said. “It’s to say: ‘Tell your story’. They’re very focused and they do lovely work… they tell the stories in their heart and they just enjoy themselves.”

When Boyd walks the streets of the slum, children throw themselves at her, finding friendship and love they otherwise lack.

“Everybody needs to think about the way they’ve been treated, and why they’re living on the streets, and suffering on the streets,” Boyd said. “These kids are traumatised, they are kids who had huge suffering, they’re abandoned… going to the streets is an act of despair.”