After joining college in 2015, Wallace Ambaka thought of how he would touch the lives ofÂ streetÂ childrenÂ as a way of giving back to the society
His philanthropic bud manifested in a simple andÂ pocketÂ friendly initiative that most of his friends in campus could afford
After joining college in 2015, Wallace Ambaka thought of how he would touch the lives ofÂ streetÂ childrenÂ as a way of giving back to the society since he had passed through the same life growing up.Â
His philanthropic bud manifested in a simple andÂ pocketÂ friendly initiative that most of his friends in campus could afford. His idea was visitingÂ streetÂ childrenÂ at Muliro Garden every Friday afternoon and providing them with bread, a cause he dubbed â€˜Bread4Streetâ€™.Â
â€œMaking aÂ streetÂ child understand that the world is not against them, but for them is what makes me feel at ease. I had been in theÂ streetsÂ of Kakamega for nine years and this made me view the world differently. TheseÂ streetÂ childrenÂ need love and not hate,â€ says 21-year-old Ambaka.Â
Bread4Street featuresÂ studentsÂ from Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology who come together to show love to theÂ streetÂ childrenÂ and encourage them to joinÂ childrenÂ homes or rehabilitation centres where necessary.Â
â€œThe initiative has at now touched the lives of over 40Â childrenÂ who have joined various rehabilitation centres andÂ childrenÂ homes. Most of theseÂ childrenÂ pull each other to theÂ streetÂ because of theÂ moneyÂ they are given by well-wishers and we are advising those who wish to help to instead buy them food, clothes or offer alternative help other thanÂ money. They use theÂ moneyÂ to buy sniffing glue and other drugs,â€ explains Ambaka who studies Business Commerce.Â
As they check on theÂ children's welfare, they are also finalizing a project to start teaching them how to read and write at the Kenya National Library, Kakamega, to whet their appetite to seek an education.
These universityÂ studentsÂ set aside time to mentor and counsel theseÂ childrenÂ during weekly sessions, with a motive of aiding them live on the positive side of life.
â€œThis move has seen many of theÂ streetÂ childrenÂ who had run away from home go back and accepted by their families after we spoke, especially to the parents. Most of them are pulled by their friends to theÂ streetsÂ with the aim of beggingÂ moneyÂ from passers-by. These types ofÂ streetÂ childrenÂ do not take time before feeling the need of going back to their homes after counseling,â€ he adds.Â
It has not been a rosy project all through for Ambaka though, who only had hisÂ pocketÂ moneyÂ at the start. It has taken good rapport with fellowÂ studentsÂ to make the weekly visits sustainable.Â
â€œI use my photography skills to get funds for the initiative and also invite fellowÂ studentsÂ to join me where they are required to carry a loaf of bread while I buy the sodas. We also collect clothes fromÂ studentsÂ that we donate to theÂ streetÂ children. I would like to open aÂ childrenâ€™sÂ home later in life to brighten the future of innocentÂ childrenÂ who have found themselves on theÂ streetsÂ because of unavoidable circumstances,â€ he says.
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