Wednesday 11 July 2012

For Kenyan Street Children, June 2012 - Parvez Alam, Fighting for Lives

Below is the summary video for our work in Kenya during June 2012.

We acheived a great deal this time round. The home as you can see from the last video, has been started and will be ready by December 2012! This was a dream 2 years ago but is now finally becoming a reality. It's truly amazing how much can be acheived through our combined efforts. This year, Fighting for Lives donated ca. 11650 euros to both the building of the home and to organising a day trip for 50 children at Berur. Further details of the home building and the day trip (which really uplifted their spirits) are available further down in this blog. But first I would like to detail the new projects and 'next stages' of our intended work for street children in Kenya. 

Unfortunately, many of the street children and mothers in Kenya are routinely subjected to sexual abuse and violence. They have no protectors to defend them there. Often when the children or mothers refuse to give sexual favours to groups of men in the area, they get beaten up very badly. While I was there I witnessed an incident where a lady was beaten and stripped naked in broad daylight in the middle of town. Moreover, we even went to visit one of the street mothers in hospital who had been beaten up so badly that she was hospitalised. At Fighting for Lives, we have decided that this has got to stop. One of our projects for street children and mothers involves creating a protection and survival program for them and to teach it to them. We intend to have individuals with experiences in survival defence and survival tactics in Africa help with creating this program and plan to teach it once or twice a year. Not only do we hope to help the street children and their mothers escape sexu abuse and violence through this program, but we also intend to create leaders amongst them who are able to continue to freely teach and implement the survival/protection program for years to come. We hope the program will also install hope and confindence in them all. In the following video I am at a bridge where some of the street children and mothers live. There I explain the situation and our initiation of this program. 

In this following video I kick start the program by teaching the children stick fighting. Sticks are available everywhere and are a useful tool that can be used to defend oneself. In fact, while I was in Kenya this time round I was surrounded by 20 Kenyans who threatened me with direct violence. I picked up a stick to defend myself... so YES, sticks are a most basic and useful tool for self protection. 

I continued empty hand training with some of the very eager boys later as seen in this video. 

Some of the fun we also had included a day trip to the Nandi Hills for all the children and a few mothers. I spent the day before with Silas going around to the different areas of town to request the children to come and meet up at Berur for the day trip... seems they all turned up! Trips like this are an excellent way of boosting morale and confidence and indeed, helping the children release some of the frustration and anxieties they may be holding in. All in all, a very successful day.

..and of course these are the only children in the world who can sing the classic capoeira song "a mentiega derramou" in Swahili! 

Below is a lengthy and detailed video on the building of the new home and rehabilitation centre for street children. This place was but a dream 2 years ago but by December this year (2012) the entire home will be ready and the children will be moving in! 

Planned Future Projects in Kenya:
  1. "Protection and Survival Plan" - for street children and mothers in the area of Kenya where we are working. Sexual abuse and violence directed towards these children and their mothers is unacceptable and we aim to massively reduce the incidents of sexual abuse and violence.
  2. "Building a School" - that can more easily cater for the unique and highly variable attributes and characteristics of street children. We aim to build this close to the home and begin with primary grades.
  3. "Skills for Street Mothers" - we aim to empower street mothers with skills that they can use to make a living and look after themselves and their children.
  4. "Mobile Tents/Camps in the Slums" - in which informal learning,protection lessons,medical camps and other outreach activities can be carried out for the street families.

Below are some more memorable pictures from Kenya in June 2012.

Pictures from the day trip to the Nandi Hills - we took around 50 kids and some of the mothers.

A few action shots from Berur...

Pictures of the home being built !!!

The ceremonial stone placed on behalf of all donors !

Visit to the slums - one of the places we will be setting up protection and survival schemes for the street children and mothers.

So so many thanks to Silas, Naomi and Miriam for everything!