Leaving No One Behind

Leaving No One Behind

This project aims at enhancing child rights, securing the future of the Juveniles by bridging the inequality gap by giving opportunities for education scholarships, reintegration and continuous mentorships. Currently, Faraja Foundation has supported 28 youth in secondary education/vocational with full scholarships. Through working with the legal, human rights and social welfare officers in the children’s department, Kamiti Youth Correctional Training Centre (KYCTC) and Borstal Institutions.

In Kenya, juvenile detention centers house children up to age 18 who have committed offences ranging from habitual truancy to assault. They are committed by courts. Although they are restrictive facilities, their purpose is not necessarily punitive, rather, their focus is intervention and rehabilitation. Juvenile detention centers are secure facilities where the children are kept away from society. While there, juveniles pose no harm to society, themselves or fellow juvenile residents. However, Institutionalization has proven not to the best way of correction for young youths and Faraja Foundation in the recent past has shifted focus in diversion programs that seek to journey with the youth while in the institutions up to the time they have to join their families and community. For these to be successful, Faraja, engages in counseling behavioral interventions and should there be those with unique challenges, they conduct psychosocial interventions as well. The centers may house anywhere from 10 to more than 100 juveniles at any one time. In Juvenile Justice Institutions, children are either housed for protection as they are termed as Juveniles in contact with the law awhile others are termed as those in conflict with the law.

The purpose of a juvenile detention centers is to provide programs and remediation for the youth who are detained. Programs such as individual and group counseling and optional religious services are offered. Most of the Juvenile in the Correctional centers and the Borstal Institutions come from poor backgrounds and due to environmental conditioning factors and lack of proper parental guidance, they end up in deviant behaviors due to bad company, peer influence and pressure, lifestyles and survival since most have joined criminal gangs with the thought of supporting their families. Quite a number do not get access to an education since either the parent is not concerned or they cannot sustain going to school in need of basis life requirements.  For these children and youth to end up in police custody, they were either caught in criminal activities or they posed danger by the kind of company they kept. The centers are helpful because they can help adolescents, even those who are repeat offenders, turn their lives around before they commit crimes as adults and wind up in prison. Well-run juvenile detention centers help adolescents develop insight, change their behavior and develop goals for themselves that they can pursue when they are released. Through interaction with the institutions, Faraja observed lack of proper case management systems since it has been hard to follow up on the children welfare and reintegration cases or conduct a proper case management with information from the relevant agencies working with the children. This poses a gap in the approach applied by the Juvenile Justice System – JJS in ensuring that the welfare of a child is protected throughout the process of rehabilitation and reintegration. In the institutions, there are teachers though not approved by the education department. The kind of education offered is moderate and cannot compete with the maximum requirements from the Kenya education’s board. Most of the youth have gone through our life-skills programs and embraced life positively, committed responsibility within their family settings and have since been awarded with scholarships opportunities for higher education due to improvements made by them and the willingness to continue with higher learning.

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