Into Work Scheme – some recent stories

Jonathan is 17, born in 1995 in the Kiandutu slum, Thika. He has 3 siblings and lives with his mother, but he does not know his father. He has studied up to class 8 (last year of primary school) but his mother could not afford the school fees for secondary school so he was unable to study any further.

It was through his passion for drawing and painting that AfCiC met Jonathan, as he used his spare time to paint and draw on the streets. He could not afford to pay the fees that were being asked for taking his artistic skills to the next level through a trainer, so AfCiC were able to sponsor him, getting him trained in Olafa, turning his fun hobby into a unique, income generating skill. Through his training, Jonathan has honed his talents to the extent where he can now sell his finished drawings, and has even been commissioned to draw murals for people on their walls. He is now able to meet his own basic needs for rent and food, and he has even helped his mother support his niece. Jonathan would like further help in marketing some of his work and also to rent a small workshop where he can work, as well as displaying his art to other customers.

 

Peter is 27, and had been brought up in Thika, until his parents marriage ended in divorce, forcing him to relocate with his mother to Mombasa, his father remaining in Thika until his death in 1997 from Tuberculosis. At that time Peter was a very young boy in class 6 and his mother was not able to provide Peter’s basic needs for food, school uniform and books as she relied on casual labour, as and when she could get it. He had to drop out of school when his grandmother died, as she had been providing supplemental support to Peter’s education cost. After several months, Peter’s Aunt, his mother’s sister, died, leaving behind a son was put in the care of Peter and his Mum, meaning Peter had to find work as a houseboy, helping his mother pay the rent. A succession of jobs followed, one involving the demand for sexual favours, and another at a cement factory which was causing him breathing problems.  Soon after, his mother became ill and on taking her to hospital, the doctor told him that she suffered from AIDS, succumbing to the illness shortly afterwards leaving Peter as an orphan.

He subsequently took to the streets for 4 years, being rescued at that point by an Uncle, and it was at this point that he was introduced to AfCiC by a friend of his. He is now undertaking a mechanics course in Thika and can already meet his basic needs, though he is need of tools to expand, something we hope to be able to do with your help. Peter is a very disciplined young man, who works very hard and maintains good relationships which help bring work his way.

 

Rachel is 19 and the 8th born in a large family of 10 children. Her father passed way in 1997 when she was only 5 years old, before she had even started schooling, leaving the family, without their main breadwinner, exposed to a challenge to survive. This challenge was greatly exacerbated in 2007/2008 during the government elections, with their Rift Valley province being the hotbed of post-election violence that left many families without homes, suffering beatings, sexual abuse, and the death of loved ones. Whilst Rachel escpaped without these physical scars, her and her family were left with nothing, their house having been destroyed, and they owned only what they wore.

From the Rift valley, the family moved to Ruiru in Thika district, and it is here that Rachel met AfCiC staff who were working in one of the satellite centers for street children. Here the girl was identified as very vulnerable, and was subequently enrolled in the Into Work programme, training as a seamstress. She worked with her trainer for 6 months, and learnt very quickly, meeting with other girls and boys in the Into Work programme, sharing informaton and helping each other to save money. She took great pride in being able to earn her own money, and is now beginning to be able to help her mother and siblings to find similar opportunities.

 

Please note that due to confidentiality issues, we cannot use the real names and background stories of those who we work with. Above are some real life examples of boys and girls, men and women, who have gone through the scheme, though their names may be different and parts of their backgrounds slightly amended.

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