Bridging the Gap: Josiah’s Journey Towards his Dream

Just like the water lilies blossom every morning, every child needs a chance to blossom every single day. Josiah Waitende is a 10 year old boy under the care of Action for Children in Conflict (AfCiC) at the Interim Care Centre.

Josiah’s mother, Ann Njeri, is a single mother who was imprisoned at the Thika Women’s Prison for selling illicit brew. She was selling illicit brew to provide for her family of 4. Josiah seeing the financial constrain his mother was going through, decided to go to the street to look for manual work with the intention of helping her provide for the family.

AfCiC began working with Josiah in May 2014 when he came into contact with our street workers and has since, been a resident at our Interim Care Centre. Josiah has been in the streets for more than 2 year. He has been denied basic rights as defined in the UN Convention for the Rights of the Child especially the right to education and health.

AfCiC helps him claim those rights – to make them his, and to help him understand the situation he has been in and to look to the future, to fulfil his dream.

At the centre Josiah has access to informal education, including dancing, acrobatics, percussion, counselling, with the programme building up to a near full academic curriculum of Maths, English and Science, preparing him for reintegration back into school.

AfCiC caters for the children whose parents are imprisoned at Thika Women’s Prison. A visit to the Thika Women’s prison is conducted every Thursday.

During the visit, AfCiC conducts a roll call of the number of women and children at the prison. In cases where a woman was arrested and was not able to pick up her infant child, AfCiC in partnership with the welfare office at the prison traces the child and either places the child with the mother in the prison or with other willing relatives.

AfCiC ensures that the children who are too old (5yrs and above) to stay at the prison have a place to live and continue to attend school.

AfCiC’s holistic approach, combining both curative and preventative measures, and targeting not simply the street child in isolation but the entire family, has proved to be an efficient, effective, sustainable and successful model in reuniting children with their families and the community, and enabling them to succeed in mainstream schools, performing well against their peers.