Naivasha Children's Shelter
Naivasha Children’s Shelter is a nonprofit organization based in Naivasha, Kenya. We believe in the worth of every child and every child’s right to have a safe environment to learn, grow and play. We also believe the very best place for a child is in a family. That’s why we work on the streets of Kenya to rescue boys, rehabilitate them, and reunite them with their families.
Our mission is to rescue children from the streets and provide them with the love, care, guidance, and support they need to become productive and responsible members of society.
Our vision is to reduce the number of boys on the streets in Kenya through rehabilitation, education, empowerment, and reintegration with their families.
Friends of Naivasha Children's Shelter
Friends of Naivasha Children’s Shelter is a 501c3 committed to furthering the mission of Naivasha Children’s Shelter.
Friends of Naivasha Children's Shelter is based in Memphis, TN. FONCS was established in 2015 to give supporters in the States an easy, transparent way to support Naivasha Children's Shelter.
Our board consists of:
Keith Okello - Chairman/Treasurer
Steven Beaulieu - Secretary
Catherine Nelson - Board member
Lily Russel - Board member
Janell Simmons - Board member
Doug Clevinger - Board member
Our tax documents are available for download below:
Our story begins in 1996, when the East African Women’s League launched a feeding and teaching program at the YMCA in Naivasha town to help with the growing problem of street children. The project was very successful, but the children still had to leave at the end of the day and sleep on the streets.
The ladies continued to reach out to boys living on the streets until 2001, when Debbie Case and Melissa Keng realized their dream of establishing a home for the boys. Ten acres of land and a well were donated for construction of a shelter. Case and Keng rallied friends from around the world and Naivasha Children’s Shelter was born.
With the help of many generous friends, Keng and Case were able to build dorms, classrooms, offices and more.
In 2015, Eunice Murage and Kristen Lowry joined the Shelter team as volunteer co-directors. Murage and Lowry continued the Shelter legacy with a new approach aimed at rescuing more boys from the streets, and restoring families.
On any given day, Shelter is home to around fifty boys who have the opportunity to begin a new life off of the streets as they pursue education, skills training, and are loved and cared for by a team of dedicated teachers and staff.
In addition to education, the boys are given the opportunity to learn important life skills such as animal care, gardening, beadwork, cooking, sports and talent development.
The Shelter is set five kilometers from Naivasha town between G. K. Prison and Flower Business Park with an amazing view of Lake Naivasha.
Each year, the Shelter rescues 20-30 boys from life on the streets. We reach out to boys while they are still on the streets, building relationships with them through shared meals, counseling, and sports.
We work with each child to find his family and understand the circumstances that drove him to a life on the street. Often, the child experienced difficult circumstances either at home or at school, and opted for the streets as a way to escape from the unfriendly environment.
After several months of street work, we identify boys on the streets who are ready to begin a new life.
The boys are then rescued from the streets, and brought to Naivasha Children's Shelter, where they are provided with clean clothes, food, and a warm bed to sleep in.
The boys will stay at Shelter for nine months to three years, where they will be nurtured and cared for as they learn all of the skills they will need to return to their family.
Boys participate in both group and individual counseling, as well as drug education and life skills training. The boys learn responsibility through normal family chores (milking the cows, washing their clothes, helping to prepare food), and learn how to be leaders in their communities. They also have the opportunity for recreational activities such as sports, hiking and scouting.
Qualified teachers will help the boys learn though informal education that will prepare them to return to school. The boys also have the opportunity to be involved in a local church.
As the year progresses, the social worker works with the boys’ families to prepare them for reunification. He counsels them on parenting skills, and also helps them organize self-help groups, that can help them secure loans to begin small businesses.
At the end of the year, the social worker will assess each boy’s home to make sure both the family and the boy are prepared for reunification. If the family is ready, and a loving parent is prepared to provide for the boy’s basic needs and schooling, the boy is reunited with his family.
If the parent is not yet ready to receive the child, the child will continue to stay at Shelter while the social worker continues to work with the family.
In cases where the child feels that either he is too old, or too far behind, to return to school, we give him the opportunity to study carpentry at the Shelter. The one-year course allows the boy to become fully trained and certified in carpentry, and begin working to support himself.