In order to ensure long-term economic self-reliance, PKL will assist the street girls’ adult family members through the provision of in-kind business loans and enrolment in one- to two-year skills training courses. Upon graduation, PKL will assist them to secure attachments, employment or provide them with loans to purchase equipment and supplies (eg. sewing machines, hair & beauty equipment) to start their own businesses. Each year, PKL will offer a full-time, residential, ten-month hairdressing and beauty and life skills training course at its rehabilitation centre for 25 teenage, single mothers from the slums of Nairobi . These individuals are unable to attend conventional skills training courses since they cannot be accompanied by their babies and do not have relatives who can baby sit the child. Upon graduation, the trainees will be assisted in securing employment or provided with business loans to establish their own hair and beauty salons.
Despite the poor educational background of these individuals, PKL must explore the possibility of having its skills trainees sit an official external exam, either organized by the government or an independent examination board such as City & Guilds. PKL will assist families wishing to relocate from the slums to the rural areas, by providing housing loans (and grants on a case-by-case basis) and negotiating with relatives to provide land. PKL will also assist family members access free birth control methods in order to assist them better manage the size of their families and will provide continuous counselling during home visits on key topics such as family planning, breast feeding, nutrition, child rights, HIV/AIDS and drug abuse. PKL will, through its HIV/AIDS outreach project (see Section 8.5 below), support its beneficiaries living with HIV/AIDS through the provision of monthly food supplements, emergency household supplies, training in home-based care and referral to other organizations providing medical care and professional counseling.
Given the limited progress of the majority of PKL’s beneficiaries towards achieving sustainable economic self-reliance and the subsequent inability of PKL to disengage them from the programme, there is an urgent need to reassess the income levels within our beneficiary families (in relationship to the urban poverty line according to the government definition of a monthly income of 2,648 Kshs in Nairobi), as well as to conduct a comprehensive analysis of the impact of PKL’s business credit and skills training projects.
In recognition of the fact that over 70% of Kenya’s poor live in the rural areas and the fact that the critical lack of income-generating opportunities in these areas is one of the root causes of rural-urban migration (and by extension urban poverty, of which the existence of street children is simply one manifestation), PKL plans to support a number of small-scale, community initiatives within economically deprived rural locations, which focus on the prevention of rural-urban migration through the promotion of sustainable livelihoods.