Our work at Rafiki Mwema connects us to those in the community who live in abject poverty, unable to meet even their most basic human needs. This includes safety, especially that of women and children. Every child deserves a safe, loving home but tragically, children living in poverty are much more vulnerable to harm.
They trust us to help keep their children safe
We see this all too clearly through our work in the community. Sometimes we meet parents who fear that they cannot fully care for and protect their child due to their difficult living situation. At other times, we meet a child who needs us to step in and advocate for their safety. We’re grateful that these families and children trust us enough to ask for our help.
We find these precious children a safe home where they are cared for with kindness and respect. The new home may be with other family members or at an orphanage.
Although we’d love to give every child in these heart-breaking situations a home with us, Rafiki Mwema isn’t the right kind of home for them. That’s because Rafiki Mwema was created to meet the needs of children in Kenya who have been the victims of sexual abuse.
How it all started
The seed of Rafiki Mwema was planted many years ago, when we saw the tragic consequences of poverty. Young girls, the victims of sexual violence, were placed in orphanages and remand centres while waiting for their court hearings. Sometimes they were held in these places for years, separated from their families. They were deeply traumatised and in desperate need of care and support. It was impossible to walk away.
We knew we had to change the lives of these innocent children
with the love, respect and empathy they deserve.
And so we started Rafiki Mwema, which means Loyal Friend in Swahili.
We provide specialised, therapeutic care
A typical orphanage cannot provide the very intensive, expert care our children require. This includes:
- highly trained keyworkers who provide therapeutic parenting
- a high ratio of keyworkers to children
- therapy that’s designed to help traumatised children heal, called Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy
- a way of communicating and behaving to help children feel safe, called PACE (Playfulness, Acceptance, Curiosity and Empathy)
While their cases go through the courts, our children live with us for protection. It’s not safe for them to remain in their communities where they are at risk of further harm.
Because we aren’t an orphanage, we find our children safe, loving homes to return to when it’s safe to do so. We work hard to ensure our children can return to their family, and if that’s not possible, a relative or guardian. It’s only when no safe home in the community can be found that our children remain living with us.
Sponsor a child today
Help us transform lives by sponsoring a child. Sponsorship provides our children with the specialised therapy and parenting that they need to heal and grow into safe, loving adults.
And if you’d like to help a child who doesn’t live with us at Rafiki but who needs our support to remain safe and cared for, please consider donating to our Feeding Program and our Rafiki Social initiative.
Rafiki Mwema might be a small organisation, but our passion is enormous and our impact is giant-sized.