Just as our world was shutting down and closing its doors in April, a new Drop-In Centre in Kenya was doing the exact opposite.
It seemed like perfect timing that a safe place of care and support was opening up to street boys at a time when they would become even more isolated than usual.
There are normally more than 250 boys living on the streets in Bungoma, but since the COVID-19 pandemic struck, these numbers have increased to over 350! Lockdown and isolation have been particularly difficult for these kids, and at times, they’ve been abused and chased by the police and locals who feared they would spread the virus.
That’s why the Drop-In Centre, run by Restoration of Hope Ministries International (ROHMI), has been a safe haven for these boys. Through the centre, ROHMI, one of our partners in Kenya, has provided basic medical care and hygiene facilities to the street children. These kids do not have the money to care for their own health or go to a doctor for treatment.
The boys keep flooding in with different needs, especially sicknesses like malaria, typhoid, eye infections, skin infections, pneumonia, tooth problems, stomach upsets, and dog bites.
Already, the centre has cared for more than 20 children a day! Plus, 26 have stayed overnight at different times while recovering from their injuries and illnesses. A Social Worker and Clinical Officer also care for the boys at the centre. COVID-19 restrictions have forced it to operate a little differently, but thankfully, the boys are still being looked after.
Thanks to the very generous support provided by one of our donors, we have been able to fund the centre’s set up and first year’s running costs. This has made an incredible improvement to the lives of these vulnerable children. In the words of ROHMI’s Director, Joseph:
“Truly speaking, this centre is a great blessing to our boys! They are so happy and excited about it! They keep on coming in with various needs. It’s also a place where we can easily meet with them since. Here, we attend to them carefully as we observe the required precautions regarding Covid 19. The centre is generally a very huge blessing to these lovely boys.”
We are now looking for further support to fund the Drop-In Centre beyond 2020. If you would like to partner with DIAS in providing this vital service to vulnerable children, email firstname.lastname@example.org or make a donation at www.dias.asn.au/online-donations/.