Research has revealed that more than 1.6 billion people worldwide live in sub-standard housing and of those, at least 150 million have no home at all.
Even though Kenya has no official figure on the number of homeless children, the number is estimated to be as high as 300,000 nationwide.
A Child Rescue Kenya report estimates that 3,000 children in Nairobi linger along the streets begging for anything from passers-by. Many of them sniff glue and jet fuel, not caring about the risks the harmful substances pose to their health. For these street children to get food, they forage through rubbish bins and dumpsites, yet another risk to their health.
Amidst the rising concern of Covid-19 and other diseases, there is mounting concern for the wellbeing of street families and the underprivileged who can do little to protect themselves.
It is based on these concerns that on 23 March 2023, the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) conducted a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activity at Kirinyaga Road, Nairobi.
During the activity, which was led by Commissioner Nelly Ashubwe, more than 50 street children and families received food stuff, clothes and shoes donated by SRC staff. The participants also had an opportunity to interact and learn of the challenges facing street children and families.
“We do this with much love, what we would eat, is what we have brought here and we will make sure that when we eat, you will also eat during this holy month of Ramadhan,” said Commissioner Ashubwe, during the CSR outing.
She was disheartened that people dismiss street children when they ask for help, terming this as a cry for help that gets ignored most of the time.
Kabuda, a beneficiary of the goodies, and also a representative of the street children, hailed the initiative and thanked SRC for bringing joy into their hearts.
“Maisha ya ‘Kanairo’ ni magumu sana, nataka kushukuru SRC na kuwasihi watu wengine kutusaidia kama vile mmekuja kwa nia ya kutupea chakula na kutuondoa mitaani,” said Kabuda.
He added that he has been on the streets all his life, and is now a grown-up man. Some of the street children are willing to get out of their intolerable environment to pursue better dreams, as they appeal to well-wishers for assistance.
Other participants in the CSR activity from SRC included; Anthony Mwangi, Mary Musau, Ruth Bikambo, Francis Kiboi, Stephen Oinga, Pauline Ochola, Francis Dagisi and Kenneth Ongwae.