Inside our center
Education – tailored to each child’s needs
At Raha’s school, the boys study Mathematics, Science, Swahili, English, Social Studies and Christian Religious Education. In the afternoons, the boys sit and do their homework with their teachers, who provide one to one assistance, helping them go through anything they didn’t understand in class.
Some of the boys have never been to school, they were born on the streets, so the teachers create a personalized plan for each boy to advance him as quickly and appropriately as possible. When 16 year old Emmanual came to Raha Kids, he went into class 4 (intended for much younger kids). “He was so violent when he arrived”, says Madam Alice, “but in one year, he jumped from Class 4 to 7, and now he’s first in his class, and he’s a very good boy, he looks after all his little brothers, he has become a responsible young man and a role model.”
Raha Kids follows the national Kenyan education system, which dictates that at Grade 8, students take a national exam which qualifies them for high school. Currently, Raha Kids have six boys who qualified for high school and are currently being supported through this next stage by RAHA KIDS. Two boys who have shown an interest in medicine are currently doing work experience at the Coptic Hospital, and should they meet the grades necessary for Medical School, RAHA KIDS CENTER has committed to supporting them through this journey.
For the boys who don’t qualify for high school, Raha Kids works with various organizations to provide vocational training. Our boys have gone on to become chefs, drivers, mechanics, and one now runs a small hotel and restaurant.
Extra-Curricular giving them the childhood they never had
Outside of class, the boys play basketball, football, volleyball and other games. They go on day trips to a public swimming pool nearby. There is a Scouts club. We have our own small vegetable patch. The Acrobatics team won an award at the Nairobi International Trade Fair in 2017. The boys sing regularly, play music, learn French and draw. There is also a Debate Club, where decisionsabout the school are made democratically. We have also library classes
Psychological Care – learning how to give and receive love
Raha Kids are lucky to have Myriam , a child psychologist, who works with them every week. For the little kids, she teaches them basic things – how to share, how to say ‘thank you’, the small things we take for granted but they never had anyone to teach them. Mariam observes the children while playing with them, so she can see if something is not right. The younger children, who find it hard to articulate, are sometimes better able to draw their feelings. If she ask them ‘how many people hurt you at home?’ they might draw three people. For the older kids, Mariam works on building trust and helping to moderate their behavior over time. “In time, you show them that they can trust you, and that you trust them back.
For the kids addicted to drugs, we have to get creative. For example “When James arrived, he still had cravings, so what we did at first was provide alternatives, we would give him sweets and we would sit and talk and draw”, “he doesn’t want drugs, but he feels something is lacking inside of him.”
If the boys’ addictions are severe when they arrive, Raha Kids works with partner organizations to provide more intensive care.
All boys are given a medical when they arrive and an ongoing care plan, if needed. HIV can be a big problem for street kids. The Coptic Mission have a program called the Hope Centre, where the boys are given any medication they need. They also have their own social workers there.
We teach them that cleanliness is next to godliness and Mrs. Eve is responsible of that. The boys have hot showers every day, we ensure they brush their teeth every day and understand the importance of washing their hands, keeping clean and well presented.
The Mamas cook here, hearty and healthy meals a day for the boys. Some boys have ulcers so there is a special diet plan for them. Our food menu is designed by a specialist nutritionist to contain protein and other essential elements every day to help them growing healthy.
We continuously invite parents for counselling, re-socialization with their kids to prepare both for the reintegration process, sharing with them their kids progress in terms of behavior and education, to allow our children to meet their siblings and also for family empowerment programs.
Social and Duty groups
We formed different social groups and each group has boys of different ages. Each group manages a duty such as leading prayers, cleaning dishes, organizing games, cleaning dorms & cafeteria, etc….
Each group has a group leader, usually he’s the eldest among them, who leads his group and take care of the younger kids and also serving the food for his group members. Social groups aims to promote leadership skills, collaboration, unity, improve the pond of love, caring and charity among kids and support the feeling of being a part of a family.
Clubs help students develop their talent. For instance the Writers Club helps members write better essays hence better performance in the exams. They can also start writing articles for newspapers at a young age. Besides teaching concepts, teachers should get more involved in clubs.
Christian Union Club
We’re dedicated to following Jesus Christ, sharing that with others and making solid friendships. We believe that Jesus is Good News; by trusting him we are given: a relationship with God; forgiveness for our sins; and a new life with which to serve God
The overall concern of the CU shall be to glorify God by encouraging members, under the enablement of the Holy Spirit and in obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ, to demonstrate Christian love. Therefore the objectives shall be:
To bear witness in Raha kids center to the Lord Jesus Christ and to seek to lead others to a personal faith in Him as Saviour and Lord.
To deepen and strengthen the spiritual lives of members and others by prayer and the study of the Bible.
To encourage Christian students to explore and to demonstrate to the center the relevance of the Christian faith to every area of private life and public concern.
To stimulate an informed and active interest in the work of God’s people throughout the world, and to challenge all members to consider the implications of the Gospel of Jesus Christ for their vocations.
To uphold the fundamental truths of the Christian faith as contained in the Bible.
Eco clubs in our center empowers students to participate and take up meaningful environmental activities and projects. It is a forum through which students can reach out to influence, engage their friends and neighborhood communities to promotesound environmental behavior.
Our scouts team is registered under “Kenya Scouts Association” . Its objective is the development of young people into responsible, active citizens, who will
contribute towards societal progress. They will be Men of character and integrity: Responsible and self-reliant, constant and true to their word, able to build their family on love; aware of their own dignity and that of others, able to share with everybody joyfully and affectionately
Agents of Development: Ready to serve others, involved in their Community, defenders and respecters of other people’s rights, pledged to democracy and committed to development, lovers of justice and promoters of peace.
Creative Persons: Keen to leave the world a better place than they found it and able to strive for the integrity of the natural world.
Spiritual People: Free from hunger to possess a transcendental sense of life, able to open their hearts to God and live their faith joyfully and make it part of our daily life.
Raha kids acrobatic team has been awarded the best acrobatics troupe at the Nairobi international trade fair 2017.
The Art Club is a place for practicing artists to hone in on their skills, develop their techniques and portfolios, collaborate with other artists like themselves, create bonds with the community through the arts, and learn how to work together through group projects that will beautify the school and community.
This club assists students in developing strong research, writing, and public speaking skills. Debate Club provides an opportunity for students to develop higher level thinking skills by critically analyzing foreign, domestic, and school issues that are contemporary to daily life.
Problem Solving Club:
Early childhood settings—where children interact with one another and participate in decision making—offer countless opportunities for children to grow in their problem-solving abilities
Children use problem-solving skills on a constant basis – when they experiment and investigate, when they select materials, and when they try to work together: “How far will that water squirt?” “Where is that sound coming from?” “What do you think will happen if we add one more block?” We often divide children’s learning into emotional, social, creative, cognitive, and physical. But watching children as they go about their day reveals that problem solving encompasses all of these areas of development.
ACTIVITIES CONDUCTED OUTSIDE THE CENTRE
Raha kids has an essential aspect of working with the outside community and the families around. We have endured the journey of working together with the families of the children together with the community around. This is important since it is the full involvement of the family and the community which helps when it comes to reintegration.
We have a range of activities we conduct with the outside community and mostly the parents which include the following:
We have managed to conduct medical camps to the outside community and this has been a success to both RAHA KIDS and the community at large. We have had free medical camps within the mathare slums where we targeted the people who cannot be in a position to access the medical care and it has been a success. We have managed to meet a large number of people who were not in a position to get the medical services. We have given free medication and this has been vital to our organization. Coptic hospital also we are in association where we are targeting the street children and the street mothers for free medical camp. This is an important part to ensure that we are linking our organization with the outside community
This is an arrangement whereby the social worker from RAHA KIDS tries to locate the family of the newly admitted child at the Centre. Most of the children who are admitted at the Centre do not have the clear location of the family. It is the responsibility of the Centre to ensure the family of the child is located. Tracing is an important aspect at since it has helped us locate several families thus leading to the reintegration of the child. It is conducted in a manner that the social worker from RAHA KIDS has to search for the family of the child who is at the Centre using the available information collected. The information is collected from the child himself, the referral agent like in this case we have other organizations like GRT whom we get referrals from, we also have the referrals from the police who have to accompany the child with a detailed letter of information regarding the child. This is important factor that we have considered and it has helped us get to interact with the outside community. In many cases we have managed to meet the parents of the children which has helped us to reintegration of the children back to the families.
Home visit is basically the frequent check up to the family of the child after tracing has been done. It is an important aspect of the child since it helps in the updating of both the child and the families progress. It is important to note that family visit helps in the bonding of both the child and the family since the child gets an opportunity to know more about the family and the family also gets an opportunity to learn the progress of the child. We have severally conducted home visits to families of our children to ensure that the bonding of the two parties is well taken care of, most of the families we have visited have been positive about the issue of reintegration and they are willing to be part of the child’s development. Family visits have also empowered our children with the knowledge regarding the home and all that they need to know concerning the home area and what it entails in the entire family. We have also noted family visit has connected us to the outside community where we have managed to meet several family members in the community and managed to reintegrate the children back to the family without any challenges. We have improved as an organization in the services we are offering to our children through family visits. It has enabled us to get more information that will be essential for both the child and the family.
PARTICIPATION IN FOOTBALL TORNAMENTS
Football is one of a uniting factor to our community, it is essential in behavior change to our boys. We have severally involved the community in sporting activity which is a unifying factor. We have worked with the outside community by participating in football tournaments mostly in the nearby kibera slums. Through such activities our children have grown to be responsible people in the community. We have also natured the talents of our children though the different sporting activities that we have involved in. With the sports activities we have realized the needs of our children and the community at large. Through the interaction we have managed to meet different families who are in capacity of talking to our children thus helping in behavior change.