How football is giving street urchins a new lease of life in Thika town
- A philanthropic organization has tremendously changed the face of Thika town streets through sporting activities.
- Serving for two years now, Life Skills Oasis CBO which has been championing reintegration of street urchins to the community has so far transformed 57 lives.
- The CBO was started after augmented complains by business people and Thika town dwellers over increased mugging and robbery cases perpetrated by street families.
A philanthropic organization has tremendously changed the face of Thika town streets through sporting activities.
Serving for two years now, Life Skills Oasis CBO which has been championing reintegration of street urchins to the community has so far transformed 57 lives.
The CBO was started after augmented complains by business people and Thika town dwellers over increased mugging and robbery cases perpetrated by street families.
Prior its commencement, at least 10 street boys were arrested in a week over petty theft and other crimes within the town. The urchins have extremely reduced in Thika town.
Mainly, the project which has been sustained by well-wishers from Thika town is involved in engaging the urchins in sporting activities and free life skills sessions.
Newton Kiarie Njoroge who single handedly heads the project said that through sports, the urchins have provided instant feedback on their feelings and how effective they could be if fully integrated to the community.
Kiarie said that so far, they have been able to teach the urchins on how to be prepared, set rules and follow them, be time conscious, clearly spell out their goals and work towards achieving them.
The soccer team fully formed by street children has elevated the esteem of the children and also improved their interactions with the community.
“The project has also been very effective as the records of street urchins involved in crime have reduced. Street mothers who were selling drugs and Chang’aa have dropped the illegal businesses to sell boiled eggs,” he added.
The organization which has been feeding the children with food has also managed to reintegrate two street children to their families while the 55 others have been able to enormously better their health.
Kiarie said that stigma on street urchins is still a challenge as the society does not recognize street families.
“Our many pleads for support and donations request have resulted to nothing with very few people coming to even want to know what we do. The challenge is that the community believes that street urchins should purely survive on garbage,” he added.
He called upon the government to join hands with philanthropists to improve the living standards of the acutely vulnerable persons in the society.
-By Jeremiah Nyokabi
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