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RAFIKI HOMES FOUNDATION

Rafiki Homes is a project managed by Victor Otieno, under the umbrella of Maisha Trust. It is geared towards providing economically disadvantaged youth with basic needs, and through care and love, enabling them to realise their potential and lead a purposeful life.

Statement of the Problem

The rising poverty among the people living in Kibera has reached an alarming rate. It is estimated that nearly 95% of its inhabitants live below the poverty line. Abject poverty forces people to resort to any available means of survival, such as prostitution, substance abuse and other vices. As a result, there has been an increase in the number of orphaned children and youth, which is mainly attributed to HIV/AIDS-related deaths.

The number of orphans now far exceeds the capacity of the children’s orphanages and care centres within the area, meaning many orphans are left to fend for themselves and even provide for their younger siblings as well. Hence, there is an urgent need to establish more orphanages in Kibera.

An additional problem of existing orphanages is that they mainly cater for children, which leaves a gap in the provision of care for teenagers and young people. If this issue is not addressed promptly, the missing link between children and adulthood may lead to orphaned youth making destructive choices that will harm their own lives and threaten the security of the community. It is therefore essential that this gap is bridged, so that orphans can grow up to be responsible citizens and this is what Rafiki Homes seeks to do.

Background

The vision of Rafiki Homes was born in the heart of Victor who had been orphaned since childhood. He lived and studied in Kibera slum for years and so experienced first-hand what it takes to survive in such an environment. Having gone through many hardships, he was able to get out of the slum through the help of friends and other ministries. He has since gone back into the darkness of Kibera to shed light in the lives of those who are in the same situation as he was. In 2008, fuelled by his passion for young people, he started an orphanage where youth in dire need are given the three essentials of life – a ‘roof over their heads, clothes on their backs, and food in their bellies’.

Besides providing basic needs, Rafiki Homes has a sponsorship programme to assist youth in paying for their secondary school fees. Training in the Word of God, morals and values, and other crucial life-skills are also made available to the orphans to help produce mature, well-rounded and responsible individuals.

Rafiki Homes currently houses 3 orphans and sponsors 9 children to primary and secondary school.

FUTURE PROJECTS

Adult empowerment schemes

A scheme to train and equip unemployed adults with practical skills, business skills and in financial management, so that they can initiate small businesses to earn a living for themselves and so be able to provide for the needs of their families.

Teenage girls’ mentorship programme

A mentorship programme for young ladies from the age of 12 to 18, conducted in partnership with like minded organizations. Through a series of group sessions and individual counseling, girls are educated on topics like identity, health, relationships and sexual purity, so that they can make informed and responsible decisions concerning their lives.

Life-skills centre

A centre from which young people from disadvantaged backgrounds can be trained in various skills, such as music, art, drama, dress-making, sports, cooking and ICT. This will provide youth with the opportunity to discover and develop their talents, and find satisfaction in realising their potential. It will also serve to empower them to generate an income for themselves through the use of their talents