The government, through the Street Families Rehabilitation Trust Fund (SFRTF), has disbursed over Sh80, 000,000 this year alone to support various rehabilitation programmes for street families.
Speaking Friday during the official opening of training and the launch of county chapters for the street families’ rehabilitation trust fund in Kiambu County, State Department for Social Protection and Senior Citizen Affairs Principal Secretary, Joseph Motari, said that over the years, the Trust Fund which was formed in 2003, has been supporting institutions undertaking rehabilitation programmes for street families.
“The County Chapters being launched today will create synergies and enhance coordination of Street Families Rehabilitation programmes at the county level and also cascade to a lower level in addressing the street families’ issues,” he added.
The structures, the PS noted, will also ensure good governance and avoid duplication of efforts and resources in the management of street families, as envisioned in the draft policy for rehabilitation of street families, which will be validated very soon.
“The rehabilitation of street families is not a short-term solution but rather a long-term commitment that requires sustained effort and resources,” Motari said, adding that through partnerships with the County Governments and private stakeholders, all can make a real difference in the lives of those who are most vulnerable in our society.
“By working together, we can provide the necessary support and resources to help street families rebuild their lives and become productive members,” he said.
The SFRT conducted a National Census of Street Families in 2018 and found that the number of street families was 46,639. The number keeps increasing by the day.
“The government, having noted the increase in the number of street families, has been at the forefront to offer support in the efforts and activities being undertaken to rehabilitate street families and will continue supporting the fund to find lasting solutions to the problem of street families,” the PS said.
Motari reiterated that for the purposes of better planning and programming, plans are underway to conduct another National Census of street families in all urban centres in the country, but this will require expertise from the trust fund as the coordinators and implementers of the programmes.
The Chairperson of the Board of Trustees, Mary Wambui, termed the launch as one of the biggest milestones the trust fund has achieved since its creation 20 years ago.
She said that in the next ten years, through the collaboration of county governments, street families will be a thing of the past.
“I agree that there has been a rise in the number of street families, but through the County chapters I believe we will be able to eradicate this problem. They will enable us to reach more societies and find out what is making these families leave their homes and come to live in the streets,” Wambui said.
Besides the establishment of county chapters, the Trust Fund has made other huge milestones and has acquired a 20-acre piece of land where it intends to build a rehabilitation centre with a school and a hospital that will serve to help take care of the street families and re-integrate them into the community.
Chief Executive Officer of the Trust Fund, Caroline Towett, said that the County chapters will come up with various committees that will address the issues that affect street families in their various counties.
“This Trust fund will be launching other county chapters in 12 other counties in the next financial year 2023-2024 and looks forward to upscaling to all 47 counties.
The county chapters will be expected to form committees in their respective counties to deal with the street families affecting their counties and have started with 12 counties, which have the highest number, and will upscale to 12 more counties in the next financial year,” she said.
Ms. Towett said that some of the mandates of the county chapters include coordinating rehabilitation programmes for street families within the county, facilitating and following up on the re-integration of reformed persons within the communities, developing and implementing programmes specific to the needs of the street families within the county, as well as advocacy.
The Street Families Rehabilitation Trust Fund was formed in 2003 to address the concerns of all homeless, destitute, and vulnerable people in urban areas, whose numbers have continuously and alarmingly been on the rise.
The Trust Fund is tasked with the responsibility of coordinating all activities related to the rehabilitation and empowerment of people living on the streets and those at risk of resorting to the streets. It envisions a country free of Street Families; this is indeed an ambitious vision that requires concerted and dedicated efforts in order to be realized.
Source: Kenya News Agency