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Episode 3 – Outreach Programs

On to the 3rd episode and talking about one of our most important parts of the work we do. Integrating our children back into a safe family is always our end goal. We do not …

On to the 3rd episode and talking about one of our most important parts of the work we do. Integrating our children back into a safe family is always our end goal. We do not believe any child belongs in an institution (no matter how great we believe Doyle Farm is!) A safe, loving family is the ultimate for our children and our Outreach team work so hard to make this happen.

Rafiki’s work isn’t one dimensional. It’s multifaceted and far reaching. On this episode we are going to leave the safety of the farm and head further afield, exploring the various programs offered outside the gates. We’ll dig into Rafiki Mtaani (the feeding program), Rafiki Social, and the extensive outreach program.

We wanted to share with you photos of the amazing people you will hear on this episode which you will find below along with a full transcript of this episode.

Please meet Esther from our Outreach team who you will hear on this episode.

Esther talks about the process of the outreach program, starting with the when its time to send our girls home. She also talks on the process of our stepdown program and our outreach program.

A continuity of family bonding, a continuity of connection, ensuring that the relation that was once broken is now rebuilt, and a good foundation that ensures their care and safety. – Esther

You will hear from the team who work in our very special program; Rafiki Mtaani.

And as we speak, since this program started, we are on our way to win back the love, trust and acceptance that was long gone from the society

You will hear from Erick who talks about the impact that the video links we set up in 2 of our local courts has had on our children and our community as a whole. You can read about these video links on our blog here.

The setting up of the two video link systems, one in Nakuru Local Courts and the one in Naivasha, I must say, has been of great help to the children within Rafiki Mwema and many other Kenyan children who may not have been able to give their testimonies in the presence of their perpetrators. This system was not meant to serve Rafiki Mwema only, but also to serve any other Kenyan child whose testifying in court was hindered by the presence of the perpetrator

Our Community Relations and Project Manager, Erick with one of our girls before she used the Video Link to testify against her rapist.

Erick also talks about our very special program, Rafiki Social. Rafiki Social was created to provide social enterprise opportunities for children who have become young adults and are ready to leave Rafiki Mwema. It was also created to assist the families in the outreach program so they’re able to provide for the children that have returned to their care and breaking that cycle of poverty which often leads to them coming to Rafiki in the first place. The aim of Rafiki Social is to enable participants to establish their own businesses as a means of alleviating intergenerational poverty.

Thank you to our beautiful ambassador, Stella Mwangi, for allowing us to use her incredible song, Makele on our Podcast. She continues to be an inspiration to our children and we can’t wait for her to come back and visit us at Doyle Farm.

We hope that you enjoy The Rafiki Way. Please subscribe and leave a review so others might sign up and learn about the work we do also.


Transcript for Episode 3 – Outreach Programs

(We have not had time to check through this to ensure accuracy. please understand there might be some errors)

Speaker A: Welcome back to the Rafiki way.

Speaker A: I’m Karly Nimmo.

Speaker A: In our last episode, we painted a picture of Doyle Farm, the official home of Rafiki Mwema.

Speaker A: You got to meet some of the staff on the ground, and you heard about various aspects of life on the farm.

Speaker A: Though Rafiki’s work isn’t one dimensional, it’s multifaceted and far reaching.

Speaker A: Today, we’re going to leave the safety of the farm and head a little further afield, exploring the various programs that are offered outside the gates of Doyle Farm.

Speaker A: We’ll dig into Rafiki Matani, which is the feeding program, rafiki social, and the extensive outreach program.

Speaker A: Last episode, we touched briefly on the third pillar of the Rafiki strategic plan, which was all about being an employer of choice.

Speaker A: The various outreach programs are deeply connected to the first, second, and fourth strategic pillars.

Speaker A: Let’s touch on the first strategic pillar person centered.

Speaker A: Rafiki Mwema places children firmly at the center.

Speaker A: Children are engaged, safe and secure within their services.

Speaker A: Children are connected to their community, culture and family.

Speaker A: Therapy is robust, evidencebased appropriate, and continuously evaluated.

Speaker A: Decision making is embedded in the best interests of the children.

Speaker A: Education and nurturing are provided unconditionally to all children.

Speaker A: This is where the outreach program comes in.

Speaker A: Rafiki believes that the best place for children is within a safe, nurturing, and loving family environment.

Speaker A: So when it’s safe to do so, they find the children’s safe, loving homes to return to within their immediate family or with a relative or guardian once they leave Doyle Farm.

Speaker A: Rafiki’s outreach program plays a critical role in ensuring the children’s safety, health and wellbeing.

Speaker A: And this is achieved through regular visits, either at home or at their school with the children and advocating for their right to care and safety.

Speaker A: Here’s Esther.

Speaker A: She’s going to explain a little bit more about the process of the outreach program, starting with what is the process of sending one of the girls home.

Speaker B: The outreach program is basically about connecting Rafiki Mwema from inside to the outside.

Speaker B: A continuity of family bonding, a continuity of connection, ensuring that the relation that was once broken is now rebuilt, and a good foundation that ensures their care and safety.

Speaker B: Children’s rights are well reserved for these children.

Speaker B: We don’t want these children to lose identity with their parents, with their relatives, with their guardians.

Speaker B: We want the community.

Speaker B: We don’t just want to bring an end of something that was meant to be.

Speaker B: What we basically do is we support them during their home visit.

Speaker B: We take them and we bring them back home when they have exited Rafiki Mwema.

Speaker B: The continuous check visit is done to ensure that these children are safe, to also assist in building a very good relationship with a parent who is also supported so that they can become better parents.

Speaker B: We thought about going now to the community, to the schools, to the villagers, to the police departments, to the children’s department, sensitizing them on the Children Act, ensuring that safety and care is put fast for all the children.

Speaker A: And now Esther explains the process of the Step Down program and outreach at Rafiki.

Speaker B: When a girl is brought to us.

Speaker C: And the girl has stayed with us for some time, she has attended all the reputation, she has been on a visit.

Speaker C: Visit is done monthly, depending on also.

Speaker B: The distance where the girls home is.

Speaker C: These visits are meant to prepare for the exit.

Speaker C: The girl will do the visit until when the team feels like she’s ready to go home.

Speaker C: So the process of step down starts And Step Down is a twelve week program where the girl is expected to do a home visit regularly, sometimes weekly, depending on whether the girl is in school or she’s just calling in trafficking in Jacob.

Speaker C: The girl has to call a pie chart that has twelve segments to prepare her that she is going home.

Speaker C: The last two weeks, the Step Down, the Gal, is expected to spend the night with her family to enhance the body and the relationship to improve.

Speaker C: After that, the girl is taken to the court for the committee to be revoked and the girl is sent home.

Speaker C: So after that, what follows are the check visits that are done monthly.

Speaker A: And it’s a little bit different for the boys because their circumstances are a lot different.

Speaker A: So here’s Esther explaining how the process works when it comes to the boys.

Speaker B: Taking the boys back home.

Speaker B: It’s really a very challenging subject when it comes to outridge.

Speaker B: It’s so easy for the girls to reconnect with their family because after all, we took them from their family.

Speaker B: But as for the boys, when you get to imagine the kind of life they’ve been through before deciding to go to the streets, taking them back, it really takes courage, it really needs a lot of work.

Speaker B: So, unfortunately, most of these boys come from families with high level of poverty.

Speaker B: Others come from very abusive parents who drink and sleep outside, who are very violent, who kick them mostly out of the house.

Speaker B: For them to decide to come through the streets, it’s after what they’ve seen, what they’ve been through.

Speaker B: But apart from that, these people will always remain to be their family.

Speaker B: These people will always remain to be the ones that they are identified with.

Speaker B: So it is very important to do all we can, including supporting the parents, including supporting the boys to reconnect, to start all over again, to make the future easy for them to stay and live together.

Speaker B: That is why we take these boys for their visit.

Speaker D: I find it hard to express myself as I’m looking at what can’t Lord help me to help.

Speaker A: The second strategic pillar is community minded.

Speaker A: Rafiki Mwema is known and respected as an individual and systemic advocate of change for good.

Speaker A: They are embedded in and committed to their local community.

Speaker A: Systemic change and justice are actively pursued.

Speaker A: Community perceptions, discrimination and stigma are changed for the better.

Speaker A: The capacity of the community is enhanced to better protect children and international support is leveraged and issues communicated to raise awareness.

Speaker A: This pillar is deeply connected to the program Rafiki Matani, which is the Feeding Program.

Speaker A: Thousands upon thousands of children live on the streets in Kenya’s cities, including Nakuru, where Rafiki Mwema is located.

Speaker A: In 2009, they were reminded of the harshness of living on the streets of Kenya when a young boy who was 13 years old was burnt to death because he stole a tiny amount of money to survive.

Speaker A: Street boys and street families are treated like rats and they live in constant fear.

Speaker A: Death is just a heartbeat away at any time.

Speaker A: This shocking story hit the community really hard.

Speaker A: The big girls and boys immediately offered to give up their swimming and use the money to set up a weekly feeding program in town.

Speaker A: They love swimming, so this decision was not taken lightly.

Speaker A: They also decided to decrease their portion sizes at home to save money and use it towards feeding the kids in town.

Speaker A: So Rafiki committed to feeding a large group of children once a week.

Speaker A: But when covert arrived in 2020, nakuru went into lockdown and imposed a curfew.

Speaker A: This had a huge impact on the street children.

Speaker A: Suddenly, the ways in which these children obtained food, like begging or going through restaurant rubbish, just disappeared.

Speaker A: They were at risk of starvation, so Rafiki stepped in to feed them every day.

Speaker A: You can imagine this is a huge commitment because it’s not just about food.

Speaker A: This program includes providing first aid treatment, covering all fees for hospital and doctor visits, medication, hiring a public washroom so the children can bathe and wash their clothes, and helping them to reconnect the children with safe, loving family members in the hope they’ll find a home.

Speaker A: Rafiki has also now established educational and creative activities which the kids absolutely love, and some of which help to feed money back into the program, as well as give these children skills that they can use in the future.

Speaker A: It also provides some much needed time out from drug use, which is a real issue.

Speaker A: There are now around 100 children, they’re mostly boys, who spend the day with the Feeding Program crew.

Speaker A: It’s officially called Rafiki Matani, which translates to friend on the street.

Speaker A: Through the support of the Feeding Program team, some of these boys are able to get back on their feet and find a way to make a living so they can escape life on the street.

Speaker A: And now we’re going to hear from Conci & Bubah about the Feeding Program.

Speaker E: Feeding Program is a program that supports the street family, puts the boys and the girls at the street by feeding them when they are sick.

Speaker E: The program takes them to the hospital through the help of Rafiki Mwema and the team that work around them.

Speaker F: Rafiki Mwema through feeding program has been able to support more than 100 boys and girls on a daily basis who have been neglected and hated by the society.

Speaker F: And as we speak, since this program started, we are on our way to win back the love, trust and acceptance that was long gone from the society.

Speaker A: Conci is going to further expand on what a day in the life of the feeding program is like.

Speaker D: You all need help.

Speaker D: Many things I want to say, but I can hear.

Speaker E: No single day look like the other one.

Speaker E: Every day is different from the other one.

Speaker E: Sometimes it’s a good day, it’s a beautiful day, but there is no challenge that we’ve never ever unable to handle.

Speaker E: For example, you can go and the boys are sad.

Speaker E: They look like sad.

Speaker E: They don’t want to talk to you.

Speaker E: They just want to be alone and they’ll just look at you.

Speaker E: Other days they will come running to you and they just want to hug you.

Speaker E: They just want to be around you.

Speaker E: And you feel good about that day.

Speaker E: Then you’ll see them, they will want to play.

Speaker E: They will ask you for the ball.

Speaker E: They will ask you a lot of questions and they’re all over.

Speaker E: And you say, oh, this is a good day today.

Speaker E: And you go with the mood.

Speaker E: What we do, we go with the mood.

Speaker E: Sometimes you will go find them fighting.

Speaker E: There’s a lot of fighting, there’s a lot of violence.

Speaker E: And you’re scared.

Speaker E: As a person, you get scared.

Speaker E: You wonder what is happening, what’s going on in their little head.

Speaker E: And all you can do is talk to them, be patient with them.

Speaker E: You just listen to each side.

Speaker E: You don’t take side.

Speaker E: If you ever take side, you get at the wrong side.

Speaker E: So you’re the middle person.

Speaker E: You listen to this one, you listen to this one.

Speaker E: And then as a team, as the whole group, they make a decision, they come to a conclusion and we get a good answer and no one gets hurt.

Speaker E: Other days you go in the morning and they will come running to you, the big one, the small one.

Speaker E: And they will tell you how they’ve been harassed by the police the whole night.

Speaker E: They will tell you they didn’t sleep.

Speaker E: They will tell you how they’ve gone through h*** the whole night.

Speaker E: And they will tell you how some of them have been arrested.

Speaker E: You have nothing to do.

Speaker E: You can’t do anything because you can’t go to the jail and ask the policeman to release them.

Speaker E: All you can do is just give them a very warm hug, a very tight hug, and say to them, let’s hope they will come back because that’s the only way you can say.

Speaker E: You can’t say, I’m going to get them from jail.

Speaker E: Because you can’t do that.

Speaker E: Other days they will come and tell you the rain rained on us.

Speaker E: We didn’t sleep at night.

Speaker E: All we want to do is to sleep today because it’s safe here and it’s warm.

Speaker E: So what you do, you just let them sleep and you just stay there, watch them.

Speaker E: They are very happy sleeping next to the staff, next to booba, next maybe to me.

Speaker E: And they are so happy, they feel safe.

Speaker E: And they would sleep like the whole day sleeping that day.

Speaker E: I call it a lazy day because they literally do nothing.

Speaker E: So that’s how a day in feeding program looks like.

Speaker E: You will never ever find one day that is the same as the other day.

Speaker E: Every day is different from another day.

Speaker E: And every single day has its challenge and has its strength and weakness.

Speaker E: But with the help of my colleague, we struggle and we make it and we come to a good day and a beautiful day.

Speaker E: And at the end of the day, we always say it was a beautiful day.

Speaker E: Because you find yourself, you have achieved something and you’ve spread a little love to those people that really, really need that big love.

Speaker A: Oh my gosh.

Speaker A: Can I just say, I want a big hug from Konsi.

Speaker A: I mean, wow, I can feel her warmth from here.

Speaker A: No wonder the children feel safe around her.

Speaker A: And now we’re going to hear from Bubba.

Speaker A: Because beyond looking after these children, this feeding program is having a much greater and wider impact in the community.

Speaker A: So here’s a little message of hope from Buba.

Speaker F: Each and every day we achieved something.

Speaker F: And so far we have achieved a lot.

Speaker F: Like just putting a smile on their face is not as easy as it may sound, but we make them smile.

Speaker F: And one amazing thing I do remember about this one day, we were invited by a group of doctors from the government healthcare.

Speaker F: And since they used to do this practice annually, but they used to go through tough times in terms of making these guys to cooperate or listen to them, they used to experience fight abusive language.

Speaker F: And even worse than that, this time they organized the same.

Speaker F: But they did it through us.

Speaker F: And the results were amazing.

Speaker F: When the event ended, the doctors were so amazed because of how these guys gave them easy time.

Speaker F: They didn’t expect a positive outcome.

Speaker F: And according to how everything went smoothly from there, these doctors became our friends.

Speaker F: And at least they do support them where they can.

Speaker F: To us, this shows that there is hope for the future.

Speaker A: One of the bigger challenges Rafiki faced was having video links installed for court hearings.

Speaker A: A court video link allows the examination of the witness at a remote location.

Speaker A: So this means that the children don’t have to physically confront their perpetrator.

Speaker A: Instead, they can interact in real time with the court over video.

Speaker A: Through this system, procedures follow as closely as possible to those that would occur if the witness was in the courtroom prior to the introduction of the video court links, the girls would be made to stand next to their abusers.

Speaker A: Face to face perpetrators were allowed to ridicule the evidence of the children.

Speaker A: They were able to give them the eye and say that they enjoyed what he did.

Speaker A: Going to court meant the children had to relive the experience, which was really traumatizing.

Speaker A: And as much as they are prepared for their court appearance at Doyle Farm, often the children feel overwhelmed, intimidated and threatened by having to face their abuser.

Speaker A: And as such, they’re unable to give evidence and the offender walks free and potentially offends again.

Speaker A: The team at Rafiki could not allow this to happen any longer.

Speaker A: So in 2014, they set out to raise funds to install a video link between the witness room and courtroom of the main local court.

Speaker A: In true Rafiki Mwema style, the community rallied behind the children and they quickly hit the target.

Speaker A: But three years of red tape followed.

Speaker A: Finally, in July 2017, the first court video link was launched.

Speaker A: It was the first of its kind in Kenya and the system includes a soundproofed room and recording video equipment.

Speaker A: This protects vulnerable witnesses from the damaging and frankly sickening process of being exposed to their attacker.

Speaker A: Then, in 2019, at just three years old, one of the baby girls had to face the man who abused her in court.

Speaker A: Isn’t that unthinkable?

Speaker A: Her case wasn’t being heard in the main court, so they didn’t have access to the video link.

Speaker A: At an age where she is just learning to communicate, she was expected to stand alongside this vile human and speak against him.

Speaker A: Naturally, she was terrified and ran out of the court crying, unable to testify against her rapist.

Speaker A: So Rafiki set out to raise $20,000 for a second video link to be installed and they were able to have it functioning prior to the girl’s rescheduled hearing.

Speaker A: As a result, she successfully testified through the new video link and she was able to say how she was defiled and to identify him, all while in a soundproof safe room nowhere near him.

Speaker A: Here’s Eric talking about the impact that the video link has had on the court system in Nakuru.

Speaker G: The setting up of the two video link systems, one in Nakuru Loco courts and the one in Navasha, I must say, has been of great help to the children within Rafaqi muma and many other Kenyan children who may not have been able to give their testimonies in the presence of their perpetrators.

Speaker G: This system was not meant to serve Rafiki member only, but also to serve any other Kenyan child whose testifying in court was hindered by the presence of the perpetrator.

Speaker G: With the setting up of the video link systems in Nawasha and Nakuru, there is a very big reduction of the period that a single case would normally take.

Speaker G: Most of these cases are nowadays hard within the shortest time possible because there are no interruptions occasioned by the physical presence of the therapists.

Speaker G: As a result of that, this gives the court an opportunity to deal with other matters within their set up.

Speaker G: For example, allowing other witnesses under the witness protections to also have the opportunity to testify through the same video link, hence reducing the backlog in court.

Speaker A: So what about when the children grow up, leave or graduate at 18?

Speaker A: What happens then?

Speaker A: This is where strategic pillar four, sustainable and responsible comes into play.

Speaker A: So pillar Four’s outcome is to see that Rafikimwema is known, connected, well supported and accountable.

Speaker A: It is well governed, well managed, lean and agile, robust and transparent.

Speaker A: Financial management and accountability is in place.

Speaker A: Partnerships align with the vision and mission.

Speaker A: There’s diversified and secure ongoing support and they are contemporary, innovative and continuously improving.

Speaker A: Life is really tough in Kenya and while Rafiki do everything they can to set the children up for future success, it’s not a well now you’re an adult, so off you go kind of situation.

Speaker A: Rafiki aims to provide a sustainable future for their children as they leave, move into adulthood and back into the communities where they’ll build their futures.

Speaker A: So there’s a couple of key programs in place to help with this transition.

Speaker A: First of all, we have Rosy house.

Speaker A: So it’s clear that supporting the children in their care to build relationships with their families and move back home when it’s safe to do so, is always a priority and a focus.

Speaker A: Sadly for some, it’s just never going to be the case.

Speaker A: They’re never going to be able to return home and have it be a safe, loving environment.

Speaker A: This is the situation for a number of the teenage girls and the younger girls living on Doyle Farm.

Speaker A: So Rosie House has become Rafiki’s transition home for the older girls who are old enough to move out of Doyle Farm.

Speaker A: It has round the clock care from key live in workers and the young women attend university vocational training or they start work.

Speaker A: Rafiki Mwema’s secure support network helps them build their independent living skills and self sufficiency while providing them guidance to keep them safe and help them make smart decisions moving forward.

Speaker A: They live at Rosie House until they’re ready to step out on their own as a responsible young adult.

Speaker A: In addition to Rosie, house is also Rafiki social.

Speaker A: Rafiki Social was created to provide social enterprise opportunities for children who have become young adults and are ready to leave Rafikim Wema.

Speaker A: It was also created to assist the families in the outreach program so they’re able to provide for the children that have returned to their care and breaking that cycle of poverty which often leads to them coming to Rafiki in the first place.

Speaker A: The aim of Rafiki Social is to enable participants to establish their own businesses as a means of alleviating intergenerational poverty.

Speaker A: Rafiki Social is a relatively new arm of Rafiki Mwema and to date has facilitated access to vocational training for six outreach families, as well as assisted in the establishment of 14 businesses in the community.

Speaker A: And now we’re going to hear from Eric again with a little bit more information on Rafiki social.

Speaker A: Why it’s important.

Speaker A: And here a little success story where.

Speaker D: Now both are run from.

Speaker D: How could this be that with each other’s enemies.

Speaker D: Now we’re scared of each other.

Speaker H: Traffic to me is very important because when these kids live Africa mum at the age of 18 and are able to live independently, they will do so with less of our support.

Speaker H: Our focus will only be how they are conducting themselves, rather than fearing that they would be able to come back to town or turn out to be victims of sexual violence.

Speaker H: The other aspect is that of outreach families with something to earn them a living.

Speaker H: These parents will now be able to spend much of their time taking care of their kids, rather than spending much of their time outside there looking for something to bring to the table.

Speaker A: Eric is going to share with us three success stories from the Rafiki social program.

Speaker A: The names have been bleeped out to protect the children’s identity.

Speaker H: There is this family that I’m very proud of today.

Speaker H: The family of supports one of our oldest girls in Nairobi.

Speaker H: Initially, before Rafiki Mwema came to support her, she was struggling even to put something on the table that led to her husband running away, leaving all the family concerns in her hands.

Speaker H: Very happy today to report that is now able to pay our own rent.

Speaker H: Is now able to take our kids to a good school in Nairobi.

Speaker H: He’s also able to take one of our oldest girls to a catering college a few days after finishing high school.

Speaker H: And one of the best things that I’m very happy about is that of being able to move from her old house to a well spacious house that is able to accommodate a larger family without any difficulties at all.

Speaker H: She’s very happy and very healthy.

Speaker H: The kids are grown and very happy and looks comfortable in their new house.

Speaker D: Lead us to the next step.

Speaker D: This is crazy.

Speaker H: Is a story of hope.

Speaker H: Having left Rafiki Mwema to go and live with her own sister.

Speaker H: Sadly, their mother passed on, had a deficit of school fees and Rafael socio came in handy.

Speaker H: As we speak today has been able to complete high school and is said to be planning to join a Catherine course in Nairobi.

Speaker H: This family also threw the earnings that they got from this business.

Speaker H: I’m happy to report that they relocated to a bigger house that would be able to accommodate a bigger one.

Speaker H: I’m also happy that sister has also employed other women within Nairobi.

Speaker H: This means that she’s also been able to create employment for other people.

Speaker H: And this is exactly what trafficking women is all about.

Speaker H: Empowering others to empower the nation.

Speaker H: Trafficking social has become a hope.

Speaker H: Hope for many who are in desperation.

Speaker G: The family of no one knew that.

Speaker H: She would be able to join a proper school because of the level of damage that she got when she was raped.

Speaker H: Today, after Rafiki Social program was initiated, I’m happy to report that is now a grade three student doing so well, they shop that traffic member supported the opening, is able to get her for our food, able to get her for a school uniform, able to get her for a school transportation.

Speaker H: And above all, I came to learn that they also bought a dairy cow, which is able to supply milk for concentrating in the house, as well as milk for sale.

Speaker A: So that’s what’s happening off the farm and out there in the wider community.

Speaker A: As always, Rafiki need your help.

Speaker A: And I think Rafiki Social provides this really great opportunity for businesses to get involved.

Speaker A: So if you’re a business owner or you work for a corporate, what a great way to get your business supporting a business over in Kenya through financial contribution.

Speaker A: To learn more about how you can do this, go to rafikimwema.com.

Speaker A: And in our next episode, you’re going to meet the Australians behind Rafiki Mwema.

Speaker A: This started out as a few friends having a drink in the backyard, trying to figure out how they could make a difference in the lives of these Kenyan kids.

Speaker A: And it’s this that has really created what we see today.

Speaker A: So you’re going to meet some of the faces and the voices, or rather the voices behind the Australians involved.

Speaker A: Stay tuned.

Speaker A: I’m Karly Nimmo and you’re listening to the Rafiki Way.

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