An investigation into the effectiveness of rehabilitation programmes in selected centres of former street children and adolescents in Nairobi, Kenya
Mvungu, Eunice Njeri
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The problem of street children is a worldwide social concern. There is virtually no city anywhere in the world without the presence of street children. Although the street children phenomenon is a global problem, it is more prominent in Latin America, Asia and Africa. In Kenya, the problem of street children first began in the early 1950s when the colonial system broke up families by imprisoning men and women or taking them away to the concentration camps. Since then, the number of these children has been increasing to unmanageable levels by the year 2403 prompting the Kenya government to institutionalize all the street children and families so as to have them rehabilitated. The study was aimed at establishing the effectiveness of rehabilitation prog selected centres for former street children and adolescents manned by Nairobi City Council. A descriptive survey method was used to collect the data for the study. A total of three centers were purposively sampled. From the centres, 151 children and adolescents out of a total population of 820 were also sampled using the same method. Fourteen staff members from the centres were also selected purposively for the study. Questionnaires were used as the main tool for data collection. Additionally an interview schedule and an observation checklist were used to verify the data obtained_ The data obtained were analysed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). Descriptive statistics such as means, percentages and frequency distributions were used to analyze various variables. The data were then organized, categorized and reported thematically. The results were presented in tabulated percentages. The findings of the study revealed that rehabilitation services provided include basic needs, counselling and medical care, among others. At the centres, the rehabilitatees are exposed to a number of activities such as laundry and personal grooming, cooking their meals and keeping the center clean that are viewed as being rehabilitative. The rehabilitatees declared that the programme had given them hope for a bright future. The staffs in the centres were found to be adequate in terms of numbers but were said to be uncommitted in their work hence negatively affecting the performance of the programme. The study also found that all the three centres did not have enough facilities. However, the programme was found to be rehabilitative and the rehabilitatees' attitude towards it was positive. It was therefore concluded that the rehabilitation programmes in the three centres are reasonably effective.