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BORESHA MAISHA - Alternatives of life for street children and underage refugees in Nairobi

Years: 2019 2018 2017
Programme: Italian Agency for Development cooperation (AICS)
Applicant: GRT
Partner: Comitato Collaborazione Medica - CCM (IT), RefuSHE (KE), US ACLI (IT)

Issue and Objectives

3.3. Million people are currently living in the urban area of Nairobi, among which 60,000 are street children and an additional 22,224 underage refugees (approximately 1,600 are unaccompanied minors) living in a volatile and hostile socio-political context and vulnerable to the black market and human trafficking. In spite of the launch of Kenya Vision 2030 and the considerable SDG progresses, education, HIV, socio-economic inequality, poverty and poor institutional capacity continue to undermine Kenya’s potential. Approximately 60% of the population lives in neighbourhoods characterized by a high social and health deterioration. The institutional fragility on protection is alarming. Health, education, access to clean water and sanitation remain top priorities for the Kenyan Government, who aims to achieve social inclusion and the creation of job opportunities for the most marginalized (minors, disabled, women and refugees), in order to create fair and sustainable development. A high level of socio- economic inequality, widespread poverty and weak governance continue to undermine Kenya’s progresses, highlighting the gap in income distribution with adverse effects on social welfare. Eastleigh is a large borough in Nairobi, predominantly populated by Somali, both Kenyan citizens as well as refugees. The latter make-up approximately 26,500 (of which 622 are endangered minors5) who live in isolation, unemployment and exploitation by human traffickers. Mlango Kubwa, neighbouring Eastleigh, is situated in the Starehe sub-county and merges with the large Mathare slum, characterized by overpopulation, inexistent social services, crime, unemployment, unwanted early pregnancies, gender based violence and substance abuse. Its population has been recorded to be 38,374 (of which 14% are under 14 years old), who live in deterioration. Minors are particularly vulnerable, lacking significant family support they become exposed to the dangers of a life on the streets (crime, drugs, STDs).


The project aims to strengthen the physical and mental wellbeing, and achieve social inclusion of vulnerable children and adolescents in Nairobi County targeting vulnerable minor (street children and underage refugees, including unaccompanied minors).

Results and products

1) Establishing social and health protection mechanisms, rehabilitation and reintegration of street children and urban refugee children in Mlango Kubwa and Eastleigh; 2) Strengthening and improving the quality of social and health related services for vulnerable groups in Mlango Kubwa and Eastleigh; 3) sensitizing the communities residing in Mlango Kubwa and Eastleigh to social and health related hardships through the empowerment of street children and underage refugees; 4) strengthening the Institutional capacity to safeguard human rights and strengthen assistance to street children and underage refugees.

Additional information

Synergia is involved in the Mide Term Evaluation of the project applying participatory evaluations techniques that rely on a range of methods that encourage reflection, creativity and discussion, and that are accessible to marginalized groups such as vulnerable young people, ethnic minorities, and other group at-risk.

Project website: http://www.grtitalia.org/en/project/childprotection/kenya/boreshamaisha
Contact person: Giovanni Viganò

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