Sima Communty Based Organization
Transforming Children's Lives
Defending the Human Rights of
Street and Marginalised Children
We are ensuring and providing for the basic human rights of children in Kitale town/Rural areas. Administration capital of Trans Nzoia district in north western Kenya, Kitale boasts some of the most pathetic slum conditions in Kenya that are a surprise to even the most hardened of visitors.
Through integrated Rights Based projects, early street intervention, awareness and advocacy,
children are able to make informed decisions that determine their future.
Sima Community Based Organization is Swahili for 'crossroads of hope'.
News from Kitale, last update 31 July, 2008.
Saboti Project including the Rescue Centre
Machewa Village Community Project
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Sima CBO - Crossroads of Hope
Sima CBO combines philanthropy with community initiatives in the interest of child orientated development: Street Children Centres, Residential Child Care, orphan children’s, Formal Education, Informal Education, Vocational Skills Training, Community Clinics providing Affordable Health Care, HIV and Aids prevention and management, Awareness Campaigns and Empowerment are some of the ways we bring communities into projects and projects into communities.
Sima’s Vision is:
A world where children enjoy all their basic rights; especially the right to be a child.
Assist children in need while developing communities enabling them to better care for their own children.
Sima’s is committed to transparency at all levels of operation and practices ´Result Based Management´ ensuring projects are monitored, evaluated and best practices established enhancing project development and impact. Sima CBO also respects the religious integrity of all individuals and has no political, racial or other bias whatsoever.
Why Sima CBO:
• Sima’s holds the best interests of the child as paramount.
• We know our customers; those we can help and those we cannot.
• Vulnerable children are assisted through community projects, not institutions.
• We encourage community led development.
• Sima’s is the only independent, non religious organization working with vulnerable children in Trans Nzoia District of Kenya. We are therefore the only organization in the District that affords children their human right to freedom of religion.
We produce results - since January 1994:
1. 358 children have been through Sima’s residential projects; only 15 of them ran away.
2. 112 youths have been through our Vocational Training programmes. 90% of them are working.
3. Two registered nurses, one social worker, a mechanical engineer and a lab technician have graduated through Sima and all are ex street children.
Is there is any real hope of the street children phenomenon disappearing in the foreseeable future? The economic factors that push children onto the streets and keep them there are not confined to local or short-term trends but are the result of national and global economics. Thus, perhaps controversially, one must consider the right of the child to be a street child. That considered you now understand that the rights afforded other children must be extended to, and maintained at street level. To do this we need you.
He needs You
Sponsor a Child
Sima Community Based Organization translates from Swahili to 'Crossroads of Hope' and is a Kenyan Community Based Organization (CBO) assisting children and communities through integrated development initiatives. Sima facilitates the rehabilitation of street and other abused or neglected children by encouraging close links between community - child, project - child and project - community. It is currently in practice between 2 centres both near Saboti rural areas in the North Rift Valley of Kenya. Multifaceted activities combine children's rehabilitation centres with community development initiatives, such as:
1. Community health clinics
2. Sports facilities
3. Provision of clean potable water
4. Improving infrastructures such as roads and schools
5. Forming women's groups and other CBOs
6. Providing community meeting halls
7. Training in home based income generating activities
8. HIV/AIDS awareness
9. Adult literacy and other classes
The advantages of such projects for community and child are numerous but can be summarized as follows:
1. Direct community participation in the projects.
2. Community acceptance of disadvantaged children into their community.
3. No institutionalization of children.
4. Children (re)integrated into an African lifestyle.
5. Repatriation and reunification with families facilitated.
6. Preconceptions and negative attitudes towards street children quickly overcome.
To ensure positive development among children being rehabilitated, participation in all the community activities is encouraged while stability, love and attention at the centres helps the child enter formal education in local schools with dignity. Interaction with peers both from within and outside the projects is also encouraged.
This relationship brings the project (and it's children) into the community and the community into the project.
The children's centres will consider any child in need regardless of their health status, parental mortality or any other criteria that excludes some children from other organizations.
Sima Community Based Organization & The Millennium Goals
What are the Millennium Development Goals?
In 2005 the World Summit of the United Nations, at their headquarters in New York, member states agreed on a kind of ten year plan; the Millennium Project that would reduce poverty and many of the worlds inequalities addressed through attainable 'Millennium Development Goals'(MDGs). There are eight MDGs which range from halving extreme poverty to halting the spread of HIV/AIDS and providing universal primary education, all by the target date of 2015. These form the blueprint agreed to by all the world’s countries and all the world’s leading development institutions.
Sima influences directly 6 of the eight millennium goals and influences indirectly the remaining 2.
1. Eradicate extreme poverty & hunger Poverty and hunger are being reduced through Community Development and provision of residential care
2. Acheive universal primary education Sima directly supports over 100 children in primary school who overwise would be unable to attend
3. Promote gender equality & empower women 80 girls are receiving education through Sima and 50% of Sima’s staff are women
4. Reduce child mortality Sima clinics provide affordable healthcare which has reduced infant mortality in the project environs
5. Improve maternal health Sima clinics provide pre and post natal care
6. Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases Awareness campaigns, treatment and condoms are provided through our clinics/projects
7. Ensure environmental sustainability Through education the population is becoming more aware of the environment
8. Develop a global partnership for development Through networking we encourage partnerships
Trans Nzoia District is one of the 21 districts that constitute the Rift Valley Province of Kenya and has Kitale as it's administrative capital. Uganda and the volcano Mount Elgon border the district to the west, Bungoma and Kakamega to the south, Maraquet and Uasin Gishu to the east and West Pokot to the north. The population is about 600,000 of whom roughly 54% are under 25 years of age. Kalenjin, Luhya and Kikuyu form the major tribal groups while other large groupings include Turkana, Kisii, Luo and Kamba.
During the late 1980s and early 1990s the whole region was plunged into a period of unprecedented, politically instigated violence. Tribe was pitched against tribe in some of the most horrific 'ethnic' clashes that left many thousands dead and whole communities displaced to refugee and IDP camps. Though the camps are no longer there, many people are still unable to return to their homelands and contribute a large proportion of the squatters and street children in and around Kitale municipality and many other settlements throughout Trans Nzoia.
The main source of income for the district is agriculture followed by the civil service, though the informal ('juakali') sector does significantly contribute to the economy. The harvest however is unevenly distributed with the squatter families, who represent almost half of the population, and reap none of the produce or wealth.
The inequality in the district is clearly visible with the squatter community scraping a meagre livelyhood from casual labour, scavenging, begging and in some cases theft.
UNICEF Statistics, Kenya:
Gross National Product per capita; $250
Below Poverty Line; Urban 10%, Rural 75%
Earning below US$1 per day; 23%
Under 5 Mortality Rate; 122/1000 (12.2%)
Life Expectancy; 45 years
Life Expectancy for street children; 16 years*
Source = "the state of the worlds children, 2004".
*Source = "Nation Newspapers".
Sima Community Based Organization has been working in Trans Nzoia District since 1994 with special focus on the deprived, abused and/or street children. Initially, a 0.2acre plot was bought in Machewa settlement where children displaced by the ethnic clashes of the early 90s could find refuge. Buildings were gradually converted or constructed for the children's and project's use while poultry rearing and market gardening were initiated to reduce the projects costs. In the year 2000 land was donated by the Trans Nzoia County Council for a second permanent project at Saboti settlement. They are now registered as Saboti Village Community Project (SVCP) and Machewa Village Community Project (MVCP) respectively.
Sima CBO (then under ICT-K) was established to respond to the widespread ethnic clashes that were leaving whole communities landless and without means of survival. In the North Rift Valley makeshift IDP camps were established to which the project delivered relief supplies and later, having established women's groups and other community based organisations (CBOs), seeds, tools and other necessities were distributed for the communities to re-establish themselves.
By 1994, the worst of the violent clashes had ended and some of the IDPs were able to return home. Other displaced families settled more permanently where they were (Sabot and Machewa are such settlements). These groups have become part of the large squatter population of Trans Nzoia.
As in all conflicts, it is the children who suffer the most. They have few rights and little understanding of why their lives have been torn apart in adult made conflicts.
In the wake of the clashes, many more children made their way to Kitale town where the number of children living on the street dramatically increased. HIV/AIDS, starvation and general poverty had already forced other children onto the streets
The Street Child Phenomenon
Kitale has a particularly large population of street children with estimates of between 200 and over 500 children on the streets at any one time. Estimates vary depending on how one defines a street child; should one limit it to those who spend all their time on the streets?
'Street Children' can be broadly divided into 3 groups:
• those who live, sleep and carry out all their daily activities on the street;
• those who spend all day on the streets but return home in the evenings (this group normally contribute to the family income); and the final, much larger group, are
• those who spend some of their time on the streets, some in more or less formal employment and the rest of their time at home (this group could be defined as 'for the street' and this group also contributes to family income).
For street workers, all three groups must be considered legitimate as all three groups are being denied some of their most basic of human rights.
Calculations of which ethnic groups constitute the majority of street children also depend on ones definition of street children. These tables illustrate this.
Here Kitale 'Street Children' are divided into the 3 groups:
a) Those who live, sleep and carry out all their daily activities on the street.
b) Those who spend all day on the streets.
c) Those who spend some of their time on the streets.
NB. Statistics are from a sample survey by Sima of 100 Kitale street children.
Sima CBO projects
There are 3 projects; Machewa- Saboti – Kitale cares
Machewa Village Community Project (MVCP)
This message was updated on 14 May 2008: Machewa still desperately needs funding though we have managed to secure some minimal running costs. If no donor or partner comes forward the home will have to close by late June 2008. PLEASE HELP
MVCP is Sima's most established project; established in 1994 it is situated on 0.2 acre plot donated to Sima CBO by the Kenyan Government.
Machewa and the surrounding villages are all composed of a conglomerate of the landless, small holders, some extensive farms and some absent landlords (the ex President owns several thousand acres there). The landless and small holders are mostly from the Bukusu tribes who were driven from their traditional homes in Kimilili and Bungoma during the 1990 clashes. Many have settled and bought or been allocated small plots of normally not more than a quarter acre. Others remain squatting or have been absorbed into IDP camps such as the projects neighbour; Huruma Settlement.
Apart from the larger land owners and those lucky enough to be in permanent employment, the population lives below the poverty line relying almost exclusively on casual farm work during the harvest and planting seasons. Many children do not attend school as they have to work to support themselves or contribute to the family income.
Morbidity is a serious problem for these families as the price of medicines is a burden, also the removal of patient and care taker can drastically reduce income to the home and often leave a young child in the place of parent caring for even younger children.
The project targets three groups primarily though they may be subdivided further.
1. Street and other children in need from Kitale town: Kitale town has a large population of street and for the street children. These children fall into three basic classes; those who live on the streets, those who frequent the streets during the day and those who live at home but often make excursions to the Kitale streets. All of these groups are to an extent dependant on begging, scavenging, doing odd jobs and petty crime. All of these groups are also vulnerable.
2. Children in need and 'for the street' from the project environs: The project is at Machewa village which is a settlement of mainly IDPs who fled their homelands during the ethnic violence of the early 1990s. Most families have small plot of ¼ or ½ an acre. Some have been issued title deeds while the majority remain technically squatters. The socio-economic situation within the settlement is poor with most families relying on seasonal casual labor for subsistence. Alcoholism is also a common problem.
The ethnic clashes, HIV/AIDS and general squalor have all taken their toll and left many children in the 'care' of distant relatives and/or ageing grandparents. General poverty and helplessness means many of these children would not receive an education at all and malnutrition is common place.
3. The communities in which the project is based: By assisting the community with such things as access to potable water, affordable health care, and improved infrastructure such as roads directly and indirectly improves the quality of life for the community in general, who in turn are more able to care for their own children.
The projects offer full transitional residential care for boys and girls from a variety of backgrounds and situations. From 1992 until 1998, MVCP's population was limited to about 40 children, the majority of whom were from squatter families that had come to Kitale to escape the violence and ethnic cleansing. Construction of new dormitories and the refurbishment of some of the existing dorms has made it possible to comfortably house 100 children at any one time while 4 places are reserved for emergency cases. MVCP now provides services to and/or residential care to 120 children. The majority of children now at the project originate from the streets, although a large minority are 'for the streets' or from extremely 'Difficult Circumstances' within the squatter communities.
The constant residential population (of about 100) attend local primary schools or are undergoing remedial classes at the centres. There are also a few nursery school age children. The centre has been able to locate families and relations for nearly all of the children in it's care, which has made home visits possible for the majority of kids. Home visits are seen as vital in maintaining or re-establishing links between the children and their communities, which in turn makes re/unification, transition and eventual departure from the project much easier and is often preferable.
New intakes of children are possible as the older kids graduate to Vocational Training or secondary school; or ideally families are reunited and the child is able to return home.
Saboti Village Community Project (SVCP) and Saboti Rescue Centre (SRC)
SVCP first opened in 2001 on land donated by the Trans Nzioa County Council. Based on the best practices already established at MVCP, Saboti wanted to focus it's attention more on rehabilitation and short-term transitional childcare. the Rescue Centre is able to ensure that fewer children arrive on the streets, those that do arrive are offered protection and care before they become hard core or addicted to glue. SVCP's current and future activities are as follows.
Current Activities include
1. Rescue Centre: During Sima’s collective 15 years experience in working with children in need it became clear that long term residential care was not an answer in itself to the ever increasing number of children on and arriving on the towns streets. In 2006 SRC was formed filling a vital gap in services to children in need by offering fast lane access to protection for newly arrived street children, giving the judiciary and police an alternative to entering a child into the cumbersome juvenile justice system, and, giving the Children's Dept somewhere children could be temporarily housed while establishing and assessing the child's situation. In 2007 1,222 children accessed services at SRC.
2. Repatriation and Home Placements: The Kenya Children's Act 2006 states that every child has the right to a family. At BRC we respect that and our first concern is to trace the child's family and, if possible; through counseling and occasionally material support, enable the child to stay with the family. If the family cannot be traced or there is no legal or willing guardian only then do we consider trying to place the child in a long stay residential home such as Machewa
3. Remedial Coaching: For all the children at the centre remedial classes are held to ensure the child's educational levels are enhanced while the child's actual; situation is established and an agreed solution found
4. Potable Water: Since SVCP completed it's bore hole well in late 2006, clean potable has been available for the project and community. The community pay 2 shillings (about 2 pence UK) per 20 litres, this income maintains the well and also ensures we do not compete with other providers.
5. Provision of Affordable Health care: A building that was built before SVCP was donated the land has been partially converted into a Community Clinic. The clinic provides basic health services to the community, our children and staff, and destitute or street children who are treated free of charge. The clinic is self sustained through a minimal charge to the general public who use the facility.
6. Sports Facilities: SVCP does not underestimate the importance of sports not only in the rehabilitation process for street children but also in welding bonds between the local community and projects. We currently have a full size football pitch, netball and basketball practice area and a minimal toddlers playground. SVCP also often provides transport for town and community based teams to attend sporting functions. Often the hard core street children form themselves into informal teams for whom we also provide lunch, washing facilities and group counseling on areas such as HIV/AIDS prevention, sexually transmitted diseases, general hygiene, etc.
7. Community Development: SVCP is situated in a village that comprises mostly of IDPs who were forced from their traditional home in the early 1990s. Successive governments and authorities have ignored this area leaving fragile infrastructure, under funded schools and no provision of health care before SVCP arrived. SVCP is happy to help community based initiatives that fall within SVCP's ethos and constitution. Developed communities do better care for their own children.
8. Somewhere to Meet: SVCP facilities are often used as a meeting place by the community for 'barasas' and other areas of concern.
9. HIV/AIDS Awareness: Through the clinic a campaign of awareness is increasing the communities ability to cope with the AIDS pandemic. Women, mothers, youth and street children are the major focus of the campaign. Family planning is freely discussed and condoms are available at no cost.
1. Purpose Built Clinic: Saboti centre is in desperate need of a health centre that can provide laboratory and pharmacy services at an affordable rate. SVCP's experience is that health care provision can be self supporting once the infrastructure is provided for.
2. Vocational Training Centre: Workshops are needed to provide older street children and destitute community members with viable skills for their futures. It is envisaged that the centre will provide skills training combined with remedial classes for the illiterate and, arts, crafts, sports and drama for those who wish turning skills training into a person building activity.
All of these activities have been planned in consultation with project children, street children, project staff and the wider community. All will require funding and all contribute to a positive and independent future for individuals and the Saboti community.
Kitale Cares Project (KCP)
- Awaiting Funding
The chief aims of the project are to:
1. Enable marginalized children to attend primary school.
2. Ensure many more children are able to enjoy their basic rights.
3. Bring together business and civil society groups to develop integrated action and policy on street and marginalized children in Trans Nzoia District.
To facilitate these the main activities of the project will be to:
• Provide a safe heaven for school aged children where they are fed and clothed, able to access medical care, store possessions and bathe.
• Provide representation for juveniles in custody and/or facing criminal proceeding.
• Facilitate and promote the formation of a street children's consortium.
In 2003 the Kenyan government introduced free primary education at all state schools. It was envisaged that all children would attend school and benefit from a basic education. Certainly the number of school going children has increased though the marginalized have not benefited:
Slum and street children put their priorities in the following order:
2.A home (or somewhere secure)
These children cannot attend school because they are hungry, prone to disease and have whatever possessions they accumulate regularly stolen or damaged by rain, dirt, etc.
This project will provide children with access to washing facilities and storage for clothing and books. Provide 3 meals a day, school uniforms, pens, pencils, exercise books and act as entry point to Sima residential projects for those who really have nowhere else to go. Provide a friendly ear, a smiling face and a second family for the children who will also receive counseling and awareness programmes.
Sima already provides a window of opportunity to children who have been arrested and/or find themselves detained by the authorities without access to legal support and often without relatives or guardians even being informed. This needs to be formalised with the addition of a Liaison Officer to:
• Trace and inform parents/guardians of their spouses/protégés whereabouts.
• Liaise with the District Children's Officer.
• Liaise with the Kitale Police.
• Liaise with the District Judiciary.
• Maintain and build on links with the Child Legal Aid Centre (CHILAC is an Eldoret based org offering legal advice and aid to children).
The success of this project will also depend on providing activities during the weekends and school holidays, which will require the purchase of a second hand lorry fitted with folding benches.
Concern for the growing number of street children, and the obvious presence of many other children who do not attend school, has been a regular agenda point at the District Children's Advisory Council (of which sima is an active member). Sima, in consultation with the Kitale businesses, has also launched the idea of having a local Consortium for Street Children. Local businesses have been approached and have shown interest in making small monthly donations that combined will eventually cover running costs. The idea that Kitale takes care of it's 'own' children is being promoted and may become a model for other towns and cities in the region.
The project needs donor funds to establish itself and for local businesses to see that it has reduced the number of children loitering in the town, that the services offered to the children are of good quality, that transparency and good practice are adhered to, and, perhaps most importantly, that the children's anti social behavior and substance abuse is curbed.
Once established the local business community will be asked to foot much of the bill for running costs which will amount to a small monthly donation each. A child sponsorship programme should also provide for some of the costs.
The project will have a great impact on the Kitale society, as they will experience a reduction in street children that they are directly responsible for. It will also identify and stream those children who are willing to school but need such a project, those who need fully residential support and, those who are just stubbornly refusing to enter mainstream society. This identification will enable:
• The District Children's Office carry out their work more efficiently
• The Consortium and children's projects better identify those they can help
• The Consortium and children's projects better identify those they cannot help
• Special schools and institutions more efficiently identify those in need of their intervention.
The greater impact of the project will be virtually no street children in Kitale.
It is Sima's experience that women and children benefit most from children's projects as in most Kenyan cultures women are often left shouldering the burden of a young family alone.
All of the beneficiaries of this project will be from marginalized communities from where the majority of street children originate. Staff will comprise of women and men while the project beneficiaries will be both girls and boys.
All project children will attend local government primary schools and live in normal Kenyan homes. It will be a process of re-integration of children to their homes and families where they can be seen as an asset rather than a burden.
Solvent and other substance abuse does have side effects; including withdrawal. For these children the integration process may take longer and will need careful monitoring by staff and the project nurse.
This project will be located in Kitale town making delivery and access to quality goods very cost effective. Running costs will be minimal as only day staffs are required yet the project will be able to assist a large number of children.
Sima will use staff from its residential centres to disseminate best practice and advise where needed.
Networking with the Child Legal Aid Centre will provide free legal advice and representation for children and free legal advice for the organisation.
Administration costs will be shared between 3 projects.
Sima staff will manage the funds and coordinate the Project. Sima will report regularly to donors while monitoring the activities.
Project Staff levels will be as follows:
House Mother 2 (1 part time)
House Father 2 (1 part time)
Sports Coordinator 2 (both part time)
Social Worker 1
Liaison Officer 1
Driver 2 (1 part time)
Sima Administrative Staff are:
Director 1/3 salary
Coordinator 1/3 salary
Secretary/Office 1/3 salary
Accountant 1/3 salary
The total budget for the first year is detailed below. Subsequent years will need only the reoccurring costs covered.
Item cost UK£ € US$
Design Costs 1,200 1,740 2,260
Project Equipment 6,000 8,700 11,310
Construction/Renovation 1,500 2,180 2,830
Vehicle 8,000 11,600 15,000
Project Staff Wages 8,000 11,600 15,000
Other Running Costs 20,000 29,000 37,700
Rent 3,000 4,350 5,660
Administration Wages 2,960 4,290 5,580
Other Administration Costs 4,200 6,000 7,900
TOTAL (year one) 54,860 79,460 103,240
Vocational Skills Training
Vocational Skills Training is an important element in ensuring youths are able to leave the projects with the necessary life skills to become truly independent. Many of the children at the centres have never had the opportunity to attend school or indeed to benefit from any education before joining Sima. For some of the older children learning the basics of reading, writing and some maths prepares them to join a skills course and take those first steps towards a successful future.
On site formal vocational training offers Tailoring & Dressmaking, while informal skills training includes welding & fabrication, building, mechanics, carpentry, plumbing, computer skills and organic agriculture, normally as a compliment to outside training. Other courses being followed include Sign Painting & Graphic Design, Hair Dressing, Food and Beverage Production & Presentation, Electrical Installation, Community Nursing and Community Health Work.
Both MVCP and SVCP have youth in training while Sima. also takes mature street children directly from the streets and into training as a fast track doorway to a viable future.
Case Study 1
Child's Name: Anthony Musa
Anthony and his three year old sister, Maria, were admitted to MVCP following referral from Kitale District Hospital and the Trans Nzoia District Children's Office.
The two children had accompanied their mother to the District Hospital some time in July 2003. Their mother subsequently died of an Aids opportunistic infection leaving the 2 children to fend for themselves. No-one ever came forward to claim the mother's body and so far no relatives have been found for the children.
Anthony and Maria stayed in the Children's Ward for 6 months surrounded by sickness and death. The nurses and other patients did their best to provide for them but food alone is not enough for 2 young children. The close environment, heavy with disinfectant, was taking it's toll; particularly on Maria who had all but given up talking.
During their stay at the hospital Maria contracted Tuberculosis and was tested HIV positive.
LVCP became aware of the children's plight from Hospital Staff who then processed the case through the Children's Department to authorize their admission to the project.
Both children were overjoyed to be at the project where there is space to play, age mates to play with and ample food, love and attention. Both flourished; Anthon putting on 3kg in almost no time, Maria also filling out became quite a chatter box.
February 2004 saw an outbreak of chicken pox in the region and inevitably within the project. Both Anthon and Maria contracted the disease; Anthon recovering quickly, but for Maria; her immune system already compromised; chicken pox consumed her and she was admitted back to hospital to the same ward that had been her home for so long. She died on 28th February 2004.
This was a severe blow for Anthony but with counselling and the love he was now receiving he managed to overcome the loss. After the burial on March 2nd his parting words were "Maria has gone to be with mum".
Anthon is in Pre - Nursery class catching up on the education he had never had. He is an energetic young lad; social and frank. Though something of a slow learner he is keen and will certainly catch up. Health wise he is fine and continues to grow and add weight.
In line with MVCP's policy of locating family for all it's children the project Social Worker is planning exploratory visits to the farm where Anthony's mum had worked as a casual, and later to Turkana from where Anthon still remembers some details of their home.
Anthon is developing well despite the enormous suffering he has witnessed and been through. As is Kenyan government policy he will only be tested for HIV if he becomes ill and a doctor deems it necessary for his treatment, or when he attains 18 years of age and wishes to be tested.
For the moment Anthon is a healthy and active member of the MVCP family.
More and more children are being referred to Sima who are either HIV positive or already have fully blown Aids. This has lead to the need for staff awareness workshops and some policy decisions having to be made by the Management Committees:
• A child once admitted to MVCP cannot be sent home on medical grounds.
• The child is with Sima because s/he is in need. HIV/Aids children are especially in need.
• In such cases family, project and child should all be involved in decision making and their preferences catered for if possible.
• The child's welfare is paramount.
Case Study 1
Child's Name: Linda Esekhon
Age: 12 Years
Date of Admission: 2000.
Mother's Name: Mary Engorok
Residence: Kipsongo Slum, Kitale
Samson Erupe, Approved School
Maurice Esimit, Birunda VCP
Jackson Lomorkai, Kipsong Training
Moses Ipeo, At Home
Linda's family separated some time ago leaving the mother with the five children living in Kipsongo slum in a single roomed hut. The mother has turned to alcohol for solace and can become rough and cruel when drunk. This along with the lack of basic needs at home has lead to all of the siblings looking to the Kitale streets as a place to beg and scavenge, and for the older children; a home.
Linda was identified from the streets of Kitale as a child in need, then just 8 years old, she had started on the slippery slope of street life that leaves so many young girls vulnerable and at the mercy of their peers.
Now Linda is attending Machewa Primary School and is in class 3. She is an active member of the project choir and enjoys sports and generally playing around. During school holidays she often prefers to stay at the project though we try and insist she go home at least for a day visit.
Young girls are particularly vulnerable and open to abuse especially when living on the streets. Sima, with the District Children's Officer's blessing, can streamline the admission process and take any emergency case with a minimum of bureaucracy. Prompt home visits are then a must to ensure all stake holders are fully aware of the situation.
The clinics are run as a non-profit community service and for the benefit of project and other children in need. During the last 3 years, the clinics have changed dramatically from being small yet serviceable entities to key players in community health and HIV/AIDS awareness. Services now available are:
• Treatment for common ailments;
• First aid;
• Professional referral;
• Immunisation programme for babies and toddlers;
• STD treatment and advice;
• Family planning advice and services; and
• Participation in the national Polio and Measles immunisation programmes;
The projects vehicle is always available for emergency transport
Where not otherwise indicated drugs are sold at just above cost price and consultation is Ksh. 20/- (about €0.25/=). With the formation of Lukhome Health Community Partnership, Sima CBO clinic became directly involved with the training of Community Health Workers (CHWs) to work within the 12 villages that surround Lukhome, Sikhendu and Saboti. These CHWs also give advice on HIV and Aids prevention and have identified six cases of child paralysis in Machewa village alone.
Community Development initiatives are vital to enable the communities to better care for their own children. To ensure Sima is not viewed as a soft touch or approached for meaningless development the Sima projects only assist in development initiatives already being undertaken by the local communities. Such projects already completed are:
• Two new classrooms have been built for the overcrowded Machewa Primary School.
• The access road to Lukhome and Kiatle has been graded, 'maram' has been laid in the worst spots and a culvert dug at the lowest point.
• Saboti settlement now has access to sports facilities.
• Both Saboti and Machewa settlements are provided with not for profit health care.
• Hiruma, an IDP, settlement now has access to safe potable water from a covered well fitted with a hand pump.
• Machewa Primary School now has access to clean water through MVCP.
• Saboti now has access to clean potable water through a protected spring built by the community in collaboration with SVCP.
• Saboti Youth self help group have been donated baby clothes to sell and buy a sewing machine for income generation for the group.
• Huruma self help group has been formed which has taken on board many health and other community related issues in the SVCP project area.
Project staff and management are always available for suggestions and requests and the project vehicle still ferries emergency cases to hospitals in town.
The total numbers of beneficiaries is difficult to estimate as some events such as open sports days attract hundreds of people.
Those numbers aside direct beneficiaries per annum can be summarised as follows:
Residential Care 84
Temporary (rescued from imprisonment) 80
Temporary (new street arrivals) 80
Handicapped (special care) 7
Sponsored Schooling (non-resident) 12
Sponsored training (non-resident) 31
Street children, sports/awareness 1,800
Street children, health 876
Staff/Management (local) 34
Healthcare (costs waived) 640
Healthcare (cost sharing) 2,860
Sport (community) 68
STD/HIV Awareness 1,280
TOTAL DIRECT BENEFICIARIES
(PER ANNUM) 9,452
TOTAL COST PER BENEFICIARY PER YEAR Ksh. 1,581/=
Administration & Networking
Kitale has many players in the welfare and development field. Many are religious organisations that have their own mandate and are unable to take a responsive attitude. Governmental organisations and departments remain under funded and despite great effort must rely on the non governmental sector for support and enable them to comply with Kenyan law and protect children's rights.
Now Sima has moved into a new office which has space for a meeting hall/library we welcome visitors who may wish to take peruse some of the publications we have available.
Sima liaises and works closely with the following governmental departments and officers:
Ministry of Health Medical Officer of Health, Trans Nzoia.
District Hospital, Kitale, Trans Nzoia.
Home Affairs, Heritage & Sports District Children's Officer, Trans Nzoia.
District Probation Officer, Trans Nzoia.
Office of the President District Commissioner's Office
OCPD & OCS, Kitale Police Station, Trans Nzoia.
Education Science and Technology District Education Officer, Trans Nzoia.
District Technical Training Officer, Trans Nzoia.
Judicial Dept. & High Court of Kenya Senior Resident Magistrate, Kitale, Trans Nzoia.
Road & Public Works District Works Officer, Trans Nzoia.
And many other departments and in other areas on occasion.
Sima is an active member of the Trans Nzoia District Children's Advisory Committee, District Development Committee and works closely with the Kitale Aids Project.
Sima keeps accounts open to view by any of our donors and provides donors with monthly financial statements. An annual audit is also published by independent registered auditors.
Between both MVCP and SVCP Sima CBO maintains one ageing Datsun Nissan pick-up. A second hand lorry is needed to transport materials and trainees. This will be purchased once funds are available.
Sima wishes to increase cooperation between stake holders in child welfare by setting up a consortium for street children, offering free internet access to similar organisations, increasing the amount and provision of relative reading material and publishing experiences and best practice from our own fields of operation.
Sima and the coalition of MVCP and SVCP will continue offering quality care to children in need. The processes that have been started will be further enhanced with the following aims:
• To bring children back from the brink of despair into a caring and loving society;
• To offer those children appropriate education and skills for their future;
• To offer full time education to children of all ages who would otherwise not have had the opportunity;
• To ensure children are offered a broad base of information ensuring they can make educated choices for their futures;
• To (re)unite families;
• To repatriate children if and when desirable;
• To form closer ties with other organizations and all stakeholders;
• To keep working at street level; and
• To offer quality, African residential care to those who need it.
While Sima, aims to:
• offer drop-in services to any children who may wish to use them
• ensure basic health care is available freely to destitute children
• offer remedial classes for those who wish
• offer vocational skills training to the older street children
• maintain programme of capacity building
• Register Sima Community based Organization as a Community based to formalise the independent nature of the projects while maintaining an international donor base.
Sima helps the most vulnerable children in its project area, such as HIV/AIDS orphans, IDPs and street children, by helping them to see their own potential, restoring their dignity and offering them opportunities to build viable futures.
Human Resources & Capacity Building
npyt staffing levels are as follows:
Director/Fund Raising Officer 1
Deputy Director 1
Accountant/Project Officer 1
Office Assistant/Project Officer 1
At the projects:
Project Manager 2 day
Project Social Worker 4 day/night
Cooks 6 day
Child Care 15 day/night
Nursery Teacher 1 day
Guards 4 night
General Duties/Stores 2 day
Vocational Instructors/Maintenance 2 day
Garden/Agriculture 2 day
Nurses 2 day
Male 21 N.B. All night guards are male
All project staff are Kenyan. Sima has a policy of employing as many members of the local community as possible in its projects, so while individuals benefit directly, whole communities benefit indirectly.
Hands on training is complimented with formal training of some kind; staff have taken courses in such valuable skills as:
• Nursery Education;
• Strategic Planning;
• Project Management;
• Monitoring and Evaluation;
• Participatory Action Research;
• Logical Framework Methodology;
• Computer packages;
• Community Health;
• Food Preparation and Presentation;
• Advanced Trainers Training.
Planned future capacity building includes; basic accounting, fund raising, data collection & analysis, information management, reporting, child protection and child participation. All of these will help further enhance professionalism and tune the activities already undertaken.
NB: 1 European, Oliver Lynton, is posted in Kitale to assist with monitoring, evaluation, reporting, and capacity building of Sima’s and the projects.
Yearly recurring expenditure in Kenyan shillings can be summarised as follows:
General Supplies (food, soaps etc.) 1,680,000
Education (fees, trnsport, uniforms etc.) 963,000
Transport & Fuels 388,000
Project Maintanance 320,000
Vehicle Maintanance 120,000
Salaries (local) 3,850,000
Water, Telephone & Electricity 96,000
Project Equipment (plates, cups, bedding etc.) 110,000
Rent (residential) 240,000
Water, Telephone & Electricity 105,000
P.O. Box Rental 4,000
Transport (fuels, tickets) 86,000
Rent (office) 120,000
TOTAL RUNNING COSTS PER ANNUM Ksh. 9,367,800
COST PER BENEFICIARY PER YEAR Ksh. 1,157
TOTAL RUNNING COSTS € @ Ksh. 85 = €110,209
TOTAL RUNNING COSTS £ @ Ksh. 120 = £78,065
TOTAL RUNNING COSTS US$ @ Ksh. 75 = $124,904
Project Income Generation
The income that can be generated by children is limited as they need to enjoy their rights as children to be free to have fun and enjoy their childhoods. They also have to dedicate a lot of time and energy into their studies as they are being (re)integrated into the local school system.
Children should, however, learn the tasks that would be required of them as children within the familial context of Kenya. Kenyan children, like children everywhere, are expected to learn special life skills, so that they will grow into healthy, responsible adults. Of course all children help with the chores around the centre, but they also contribute to the income of the centre by learning such life skills as rabbit rearing or organic farming. These activities can be fun and are the type of life skills that children might learn in a typical Kenyan family environment. Life skills build confidence in the children and give them a sense of contributing something to their peers and to the larger community.
Rabbits are a good source of protein and relatively easy to rear. By the periodic introduction of new males to the stock reproduction levels remain good and rabbit can be included on the project menu periodically.
Organic agriculture has been concentrated on the crops Sima has learned do well in the local soil at high altitude. A few experimental plots do remain. The garden produces ample sukuma wiki, suja, Irish potatoes and cooking bananas for the project needs and contributes some tomatoes, beans, carrots, spinach, cabbage and fruits to the centre. Like the other sections, income is not high, but the children feel productive and useful, as they learn invaluable life skills such as organic farming. Two plots have been fitted with drip irrigation, which some of the older kids helped to install, which produce sukuma wiki during the dry seasons when prices jump from around Ksh. 200/- to 800/- per bag.
Children and staff have been asked to come up with suggestions for future income generating activities. Their ideas include brick making, poultry rearing, sale of products from the vocational training units and cattle herding. All are possible sources of income though they also have implications for the environment, education and staffing levels; poultry rearing produces income at the familial level with no paid employees.
Income generation is important though difficult especially while the competition can rely on underpaid casual and child labour, and show little regard for the environment which are clearly against the ethos of Sima.
Contact and Maps
Sima welcomes visitors. We do however ask visitors that they report to either the Kitale or project offices upon arrival and that visits are limited to start after 8.00 am and be finished by 5.00pm.
Sima Community based Organization registration Nº. TN/2405/09/1994
Sponsor a Child
Now you know who and where we are, please help us by Sponsoring a Child?
Sponsorship* can be very rewarding for both sponsor and child. Enter the life of one of the poorest children on earth and for the price of a meal out, make positive and lasting change.
What you get above and beyond the satisfaction of watching your child grow, develop and mature.
Sponsorship Costs: Ksh 2,500, £ 20, € 30, US$ 35 per month. Upon receipt of the sponsorship form you will be sent a photograph of your child with a brief case study, a letter from the project social worker and from your child (if able to write). You will also receive regular updates on your child's and project progress. You will also receive a car sticker.
What we get apart from your hard earned money.
For Sima and our children having donors committed to contribute over a period of time enables us to plan and give the children the security they so desperately need.
Child sponsorship raises funds that are spent evenly for all children in the projects avoiding the possibility of jealousy and discrimination. If you wish to give your child a personal present please limit them to small inexpensive or useful items. Otherwise regular communication is encouraged.
NB. Care for a child involves many costs including food, clothing, medical treatment, project maintenance, staff wages, administration, recreation, home visits, fuels, etc.
Make a Donation
Donationas or sponsorship can be made in several ways:
Mail Us: Johnstone Sikulu Wanjala, Programme Coordinator, Sima Community Based Organization, PO Box 1691, 30200 Kitale, KENYA
Equity Bank- Kitale Branch Kenya.
A/C Name: Sima Community Based Organization
A/c No: 0330191608649
Phone Us: +254 721 862 923
e-mail Us: firstname.lastname@example.org