By JOSEPH MUCHIRI
Embu, Kenya: More than 20 street children in Embu town are set to get a new lease of life and decent source of income when their own car wash opens on Friday.
They partnered with a local non-profit making organisation which built the car wash at a cost of Sh130,000 to provide them with an income-generating activity and eventually remove them from the streets.
The street boys and girls, under the umbrella of Rescue Youth Group, secured a piece of land near Shauri slums through Embu Jua Kali Association, which they have also joined.
Gilbert Njeru, the chairperson Moving Mountains Trust, which funded the car-wash said the street children youth group was registered with social services for the members of the public to gain confidence with the street children and help in empowering them.
Speaking when the department of children services and Aphia Plus Kamili donated a trolley and a TV set to the street children, Njeru called on the motorists in Embu town to take their vehicles to the car-wash to empower the children instead of giving them handouts.
“We will do an evaluation of the progress of the car-wash in four weeks time to see if it is helping them,” Njeru said.
He said the trolley would be used by the grown up street children to carry goods at a fee adding that nine other trolleys would be brought by well-wishers so that more street children benefit.
He said the youth group will also be showing videos at a fee and they were engaging partners to secure them a venue.
Njeru said they have removed three children from the streets and rehabilitated them to the extent that they have resumed their studies and continued up to university.
Area Children’s Officer Irene Komu said many street children in the area do not have crucial documents such as birth certificates and ID cards because their parents have not provided the documents.
“About 10 street children want to get the documents but we are telling them to get the right documents from their parents and for the orphaned ones to get letters from their chiefs indicating their year of birth and places of birth. We are working with the registrar of persons to assist them,” she said.
Aphia Plus Kamili Regional Programme coordinator Carlin Alusa said over 40 street children in the county who lacked the document were ineligible to join a popular youth annual football tournament and called on the county to urgently assist them get the documents.