Slum Child Foundation: empowering and positively impacting the lives of slum children, especially girls
The Dianova network having incorporated three new associate members recently, we are publishing a series of articles to present these organizations whose operations are located in Kenya, Pakistan and India.
The East African nation of Kenya is located in the equator line, bordering with Tanzania, Uganda, South Sudan, Ethiopia and Somalia. It has an estimated population of 46.1 million, which increases by one million a year. Around 73% of the population is aged below 30 years.
Kenya has seen a sustained economic growth in the past decade. The country has the potential to be one of Africa’s great success stories from its growing and youthful population, a dynamic private sector, and its pivotal role in East Africa. However, the development challenges of poverty and inequality are serious; half of Kenyans live below the poverty level and HIV/AIDS, diarrhoea and malnutrition are still major child-killers (1).
Education has improved in recent years and the country is showing strong commitment to funding education. However, progress has yet to reach the most vulnerable and marginalized populations, such as those living in slums. About 60% of Nairobi’s 3 million inhabitants live in slums. In two of the poorest slums, Korogocho and Viwandani, young people make up almost a third of the population. With no secondary schools in the slums, only 19% of men and 12% of women have attended secondary school. This lack of skills will affect the lives of these young people forever: About 50% of men and 80% of women aged 15 to 24 in the slums have no income-generating activities. Of those who are employed, about 60% of men and 40% of women are in casual employment earning only around the poverty line (2).
Drug abuse is one of the top problems confronting the nation today especially among the youth. Incidences of drug and alcohol abuse and related anti-social behaviours have increased tremendously in recent years.
It is then critical to develop and improve the education and healthcare systems and make these available and accessible to everyone, especially to young slum-dwellers for whom substance and alcohol abuse can have devastating consequences: death, permanent disability, schools dropouts, increased crime rates, etc.
Slum Child Foundation
Established in 2006, Slum Child Foundation (SCF) is a non-profit organization from Kenya. The organisation works for vulnerable and marginalized members of the society living in poor urban settlements, the slums. The foundation is motivated by the high levels of poverty, violence and drug abuse which characterize these slums. Using a child-centred approach SCF focuses on different thematic areas, including but not limited to: prevention of substance abuse and HIV/AIDS, children rights, education, prevention of teenage marriages and pregnancies, empowerment of girls, etc.
The organisation offers the following programs:
- Community outreach: youth empowerment, women empowerment, establishment of a social centre for arts, community service and theatre.
- Drug awareness and rehabilitation program
- Program for street children: vocational training and rehabilitation
- Capacity building: school-based programs, student conventions
- Lastly, SCF has an important advocacy role at the international level, particularly at the UN.
SCF operates in Nairobi’s Korogocho slum and aims to expand its activities in other slums in large African cities. With only 3 employees, the foundation has been able to reach out to more than 10,000 children in 2015.
Dianova warmly welcomes the Slum Child Foundation as an associate member of the Dianova network. We truly hope that this collaboration will contribute to achieve our common objective of helping those most vulnerable and to make their voices heard at the international level. Together, we can go farther!