Despite the introduction of free and compulsory primary education in 2003, the number of street children in Nairobi remains almost unchanged. Key contributing factors include the lack of teachers, inadequate school infrastructure and textbooks, overcrowding (up to 120 pupils per class), the high cost of uniforms and stationery and the loss of family income once a child is enrolled. The majority of street children who did enroll in 2003 have since dropped-out citing the lack of rehabilitation services prior to their enrolment and the unsupportive attitude of teachers.
In recognition of the fact that a period of rehabilitation for a street child is absolutely essential if family and school reintegration is to succeed, PKL will continue to enroll 100 street girls (the maximum capacity of the centre), from 5 to 12 years of age, each year into an intensive 10-month rehabilitation project at its residential centre in Ngoliba. During this period they will acquire the social and academic skills vital for successful reintegration. Activities will include:
In order to expedite the process of selecting girls for enrollment in the rehabilitation centre, PKL, in addition to its Social Workers identifying girls directly from the streets, as well as receiving referrals from other NGOs and District Children’s Departments, must devise an effective system whereby children held in government remand homes can be released by the courts to its care.