Kenya: Restoring Hope in Kawangware
AFRICA, 16 Apr 2012
On the 12th of April, a number of organisations rallied to support the street children of Kawangware in Nairobi, in having a voice to loudly express their dreams, hopes and fears. Hundreds of street children in Kawangware and their champions poured into the streets in a peaceful demonstration to mark the International Day for Street Children.
It was a great opportunity for the street children to show the world that they have true potential if given the space to express themselves, and that they too deserve to enjoy their rights like any other child in the world.
The street children had a platform to raise their voices and speak about the challenges they encounter on the street, which include lack of food, shelter and clothing, in addition to facing abuse from authorities.
The event was celebrated by poems, skits, plays and drama from various centers that emphasized more on caring and restoring hope to the street children. The message which will forever remain in the audience’s mind is: ‘There is hope in the streets’.
But for XCP and its partners this was just the kick-off event. XCP has launched a website — Streetchildren Kenya — which is to serve as platform for all these children to voice their concerns, fears and hopes to the rest of Kenya and the world. It is to show that street children have true potential waiting to be explored.
Street children are then film makers, photographers, musicians, artists, and writers. Their productions are to be shared on this platform, as it aims to be an open and available space in the future, so that the street children of Kenya can project their dreams to all.
Complementary to the publication platform, XCP with its partners, will try to acquire resources to carry out regular trainings in film and music production, as well as in photography, arts and writing. Through this combination of capacity building and advocacy, the street children we work with will be given the chance to improve their future lives and speak out for the many other street children around the globe.
This initiative has as a central and universal criterion the partnership with the street children, who not only provide the ideas they want to communicate through their productions, they as well actively participate throughout the entire production and publication process.
The goal is to foster a sense of process and result ownership in the children so that they develop their own solutions to particular issues of concern, gain valuable skills and knowledge and spread their productions to their communities and beyond.
Xchange Perspectives e.V. believes that local media initiatives, oriented towards human development and based on all-inclusive communal participation, foster mutual understanding and are a distinctive contribution to peace. These initiatives encourage open dialogue among all, through the exchange of information, experiences and opinions, stepping stones towards establishing cultures of peace and social harmony.
Xchange Perspectives (XCP) and its thirteen partners rally to bring the issues of street children up to the surface of Kenyan society and politics. This is an initiative to bring up the voice of Kenya’s street children so that their rights are no longer ignored. It as well aims at sharing knowledge and skills with some of the many street children in Kenya.
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