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School-aged boys who were in need, were usually referred to Ahadi Family Kenya by area chiefs, school principals, pastors, the police or the Children’s Department in Athi River town, Machakos County, when they became aware of a child not in school, and/or not being cared for properly. Most were orphaned with no extended family able to care for them. Others were abandoned or abused, or were on the street because of parental neglect or poverty. All were stranded in life for one reason or another, and were vulnerable and many times hopeless. The average age is 14 years old.
In 2020, the Department of Children's Services (DCS) mandated that children's homes were to find a relative or trusted person to care for the children that were currently living in their facilities, and DCS no longer registered children's homes. The reason for this was their realization that family connections for a child are necessary and contribute to their better adjustments as adults. As a result, we are not accepting any new children and will be considering other uses for the property.
We had already been keeping at least one relative involved in the boys’ lives, and during school holidays, we connected them with a designated relative for short periods of time. Now, we provide assistance to a relative or trusted friend so that they can keep them full-time so they can feel more like they belong to that family. Our social worker monitors their transition to this family care and makes necessary adjustments if things aren't going well. Everything is done in the best interests of the child.
Most relatives are unable to pay for their education or upkeep. If not, Ahadi Family Kenya continues paying those expenses, and whenever possible puts them in schools that are close enough for the relative to monitor them.