There are many reasons these boys in Bungoma find themselves living on the streets… and it often takes a pretty awful situation at home for them to choose the tough street life.
One such situation is caused by a cultural phenomenon called “widow inheritance” where if a husband dies, the widow is kicked out of the house and it is taken over by a male relative.
The relative often keeps the daughter because she will not go to school but be available to work in the house and she will have ‘value’ when she is married off.
However, the boy will be a liability, as he will want to go to school. So, in many cases, he is pushed out of the house or his life is made so miserable that he leaves to escape the abuse. Life on the street is safer than what he will experience at that home. The girls themselves do not escape abuse, as many are made slaves and abused physically, emotionally and even sexually.