Tushinde Children’s Trust works in the slums of Nairobi, Kenya. It targets the most vulnerable families with multiple, complex needs; those who slip through the nets of other, larger organisations. The core of Tusinde’s work is social work with these families in the community. However, our community outreach has brought attention to the inadequate protection of child rights in schools; the continuing use of coproal punishment as well as the poor attitude towards girls in education.
With the £500 the Trust gave us we were able to run two Girls Forums in July 2018 and February 2019. School drop-out rates and early pregnancy are common in the population we work with: girls from especially vulnerable families who live in the slums. With these forums, Tushinde aims to show girls that there is a life outside of the slums and that they have potential to succeed after school. We also use it as an opportunity to talk to the girls about, relationships, their rights and staying safe. We ensure there is a balance of play, learning and sharing. The girls love these days.
We were also able to print out posters for our 11 partner schools about child protection. We have been working with the schools for several years now and we are slowly getting through to the senior teachers that children have rights. There is still so much work to do, but having these posters on clear display demonstrates these schools are taking responsibility for protecting children. It is good for us, the parents and, most importantly, the children to see. Sadly, we have already had a couple of calls on the emergency numbers we listed on the poster.
We aim to continue this work, that was supported by the Edith M Ellis trust as we know that we are slowly changing the status quo and with this, protecting children from violence and conflict. We are in the process of trying to source ongoing funding so that we can maintain Tushinde’s presence in schools until we are no longer needed.