Vision Africa believes that every child has a right to be raised in family for them to thrive in life. Family plays an important role in all development stages in a child’s growth. The relationship formed, bonding and identity is created when a child lives with their family. For the last two years the organisation has worked closely with other stakeholders in St. Andrews Baby Unit, Kandara and Mbeere Children’s Homes to conduct family tracing and assessment to ensure that all children whose families have been traced went back to live in a safe and friendly environment where they will grow without fear of neglect, abandonment or any form of abuse.
The process of family tracing was not easy because some parents, relatives or guardians had no idea that their children were alive and living in a children’s home while others were not convinced that returning a child to the family home was the best idea due to poor living conditions. Through collaboration between our staff team, the management boards of the children’s homes and the area children’s officers, major progress was made as families of 63 children were traced, assessed and recommended for reintegration.
In 2017, there was a lot of family visits, counselling and bonding between the children and their parents/guardians, siblings and relatives in preparation for reintegration. According to Winfred, our Vulnerable Child Support staff, some of the family reunions were heartwarming as the relatives never knew that the children existed and were living in the children’s home like in the cases of Cecilia, Newton and his twin brother Peterson.
The good news is that all the children including those from St. Andrews Baby Unit have settled well with their families and are back to school. Our staff team ensured that by December of 2017 when the last children were being reintegrated, parents and relatives had found new schools and informed our office of all their school requirements so that by January they would be admitted in to new schools near their homes.
The Mbeere Children’s Home facility that was constructed by Vision Africa was recently handed over to the local community after all the children from the home were reintegrated back to their families. We believe the community, through the local church, will utilise the facility to raise the living standards of people in the surrounding area.
Vision Africa equips and empowers children and young people through education so that they can realise their full potential, thrive and succeed in future. All this would not be possible to achieve without your support! We sincerely thank all of our sponsors for their continuous giving as it is through your generosity that we will be able to provide the best education, care and family strengthening for all the children who have been reintegrated back to their families.
Post by Sherry Waweru, Impact Assessment Officer