ASEC News

Help and hope for homeless boys in Kenya

African Sisters Education Collaborative (ASEC)

The balance of schoolwork and recreational activities at Kwetu Home keeps the boys happy and eager to learn. So while they learn subjects like English, they can still participate in some of their favorite activities, including gymnastics and singing.


Sr. Felistas combs the slums of Nairobi, Kenya in search of poor, orphaned boys in need of a home.

Sr. Felistas combs the slums of Nairobi, Kenya in search of poor, orphaned boys in need of a home.  

In the early morning hours, the last place you’d expect to find HESA alumna Sr. Felistas is in the slum areas of Nairobi Kenya. But that’s exactly where you’ll find her. She frequents the slums weekly, forming relationships with homeless boys as young as eight years old, who already are trapped in a cycle of poverty and drug addiction. She knows she can help, but first has to convince both the boy and his community leader that she can be trusted.

But Sr. Felistas believes that children from these slums should get to stay children a little longer. She’s making this a reality through substance abuse treatment and educational opportunities at Kwetu Home of Peace Rehabilitation Centre for Street Children.

As Financial Administrator of Kwetu Home, Sr. Felistas seeks out local companies for donations and manages Kwetu’s accounts and finances.

Her HESA education and SLDI training from ASEC gave her resource mobilization and financial planning skills which enable Kwetu Home to make a bigger impact.

“We take them to school. We change their lives. They become good people and good citizens of the country.”

All of the current 246 students at Kwetu Home received medical assistance and completed a three-month rehab program to guarantee their sobriety and improve their health before beginning their educations.

Three times a year, new students, ages 8 to 15, are admitted to the Kwetu Home. The balance of schoolwork and recreational activities keeps the boys happy and eager to learn. So while they learn subjects like English, they can still participate in some of their favorite activities, including gymnastics and singing.  

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Supporting these boys is not an easy task, especially when 65% are likely to end up back on the street. But Sr. Felistas hasn't given up. She funds Kwetu Home with income generating projects like health dispensary, farm and greenhouse and regularly seeks the support and engagement of her local community.

Supporting these boys is not an easy task, especially when 65% are likely to end up back on the street. But Sr. Felistas hasn't given up. She funds Kwetu Home with income generating projects like health dispensary, farm and greenhouse and regularly seeks the support and engagement of her local community.

After two years at Kwetu Home, the students graduate and are once again immersed in their home environments where, unfortunately, 65% of them will revert back to previous habits.

Sr. Felistas, however, uses the knowledge she acquired through ASEC to combat this problem by helping to implement and maintain income generating projects that will provide more opportunities to the boys following graduation.

These projects include operating a health dispensary that serves more than 500 residents in the community each month. Kwetu also maintains a farm, greenhouse and fish pond which promote sustainability and agribusiness.

Additionally, Sr. Felistas emphasizes local mobilization efforts, something she learned from her SLDI training, to engage more people in the community because a supportive and engaged community will help discourage the boys from returning to past consumption habits.

ASEC’s mission to provide an education to African religious sisters is only possible with the help from grants and donations from people like you.

“The most valuable aspect of SLDI was the fact I got to learn how to communicate and how to use the computer to do accounting. For HESA it has given me confidence….and it has bettered my services.”

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Support children and communities across Africa by contributing to the education of a sister, just like Sr. Felistas, who is ready to serve.

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This article is addressing the following UN Sustainable Development Goal(s):

End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
Mackenzie Macneal


Author
ASEC Web Content Intern - USA  

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