Kawangware Street Children and Youth Project was founded in 2002 by Morris Auka and Augusto Githaiga to open up and create opportunities in life for these street children and youth at risk in Kawangware.
The project runs from three small rooms in the heart of Kawangware which act as a workshop and a coordination centre for project activities. At the workshop they currently employ about 10 girls and 30 boys, many of whom are former street children, to produce handcrafted paper bags, gift-wrapsand cards from recycled paper. The project also employs 15 single women from the community, who are mostly widows and the only wage earners in the family, to make and supply hand-made banana fibre handles for the paper bags.
Locally designed pictures, logos and writing are screen printed onto the paper to make attractive paper products. These are sold to the target markets of hotel and tourism, fashion and design as well as individual clients and companies. The proceeds from these sales provide an income to those in the production process and also fund the other project activities.
The vision of Kawangware Street Children & Youth Project:
It is our vision to have a comprehensive and sustainable community structure in place that offers street children and youth in Kawangware an alternative to street life that enables them to integrate back into mainstream society.
Kwangware, inthe western outskirts of Nairobi, is one of the town’s large high density estates with an estimated 300,000 population of which 65% are children and youth. Kawangware has grown haphazardly without any evidence of planned development and now has a chaotic infrastructure with over populated schools, no social amenities, high unemployment and most families living in abject poverty.
As in other urban slum areas, family breakdown is rife and exacerbated by the impact of HIV/AIDS. Community morale and self-esteem is low. Children and young people opt for the streets in search of basic human needs and the hope of a better life. Young boys are at great risk of violence or being drawn into crime. Young girls may be exploited as servants or forced into prostitution.
Love Live Africa decided to support Kawangare Street Children Project by asking them to provide us with recycled bags with our logo screen printed onto. These paper bags are given to our guests together with their brief and itinerary upon arrival. We believe that this organization, run by former street kids is the perfect example of the contribution our guests can give directly to the people they are visiting.