Frequently Asked Questions
Have an enquiry? Contact us here.
Donations and Sponsoring
If you have a recurring donation with us, it is set up on our FundraiseUp platform and you can always access your donation and all payment details via this link here. You will find a link in the email you receive with your tax receipt. As shown in the image below:
If you ever need to update your payment details, change the payment to be taken out on a new date, change the amount being donated or to cover the processing fees you are able to do all of this at anytime of day or night by accessing this link or the one in your email with receipt.
When you access the link in your email, It will show you your details of your donation as shown below and to make any changes you choose the option to ‘edit payment details’ as shown below:
From here you can make any changes you require. If you would ever like us to make these changes for you, it would be our pleasure. You can do this by replying to the email you receive from us with your tax receipt or email us on email@example.com – Thank you for believing in what we do.
By becoming a sponsor you will be making a lifetime difference to some of the world’s most vulnerable children.
Sponsorship will cost you $50AUD per month and your valued donation will assist us in supporting ALL of our children with all expenses across our entire charity.
Thank you so much for your offer and for thinking of us. As much as we would love to be able to receive items, unfortunately we have no way to get the items to Kenya from Australia.
Postage is expensive and very difficult and often doesn’t get there and then if it does, we get charged huge amounts to get it out of the post office. Often over and above what it cost.
As much as I would love to accept the items, can I suggest that a refuge or similar in your local area could use these items.
You are more than welcome to send letters to the children. Read more about sending letters here.
Methods and Mission
You might see a lot of photos with our children playing, swimming, dancing and there is a really good reason for that!
There are so many benefits!
Exercise increases the flow of blood to the brain. The blood delivers oxygen and glucose, which the brain needs for heightened alertness and mental focus. Because of this, exercise makes it easier for children to learn.
It is well known that stress damages children’s brains. Exercise reduces stress by balance of the body’s chemistry. Its effect is similar to taking anti-depressant medications.
It improves your mental wellbeing, alertness, relationships, leadership qualities – no wonder sports will live long in our houses – and it’s fun!
In Play Therapy children have an opportunity to understand their lives through play. By using various media (sand, paint, small world play, puppets, clay, music, drama, storytelling and movement) children begin to understand muddled feelings and upsetting events that they haven’t had the chance to sort out properly. Rather than having to explain what is troubling them, as adult therapy usually expects, children use play to communicate at their own level and at their own pace.
Play is vital to every child’s social, emotional, cognitive, physical, creative and language development. It helps all children and young people including those for whom verbal communication may be difficult.
Play Therapy can help children in a variety of ways. Children receive emotional support and can learn to understand more about their own feelings and thoughts. Sometimes they may re-enact or play out traumatic or difficult life experiences in order to make sense of their past and cope better with their future. Children may also learn to manage relationships and conflicts in more appropriate ways.
Our aim at Rafiki Mwema is to provide a therapeutic safe house for badly abused girls and boys to help them make sense of what they have been through. We support them through all medical treatments, the court system and therapy with the ultimate goal of returning them to a safe and loving environment when they are ready.
Once we are satisfied the children are doing well in the house, accessing what they need from their therapy and able to concentrate and learn in school, we have a meeting about them moving home.
A lot depends on their individual home situations and whether they have a caring, loving family to return to.
We always veer on the side of caution but have tragically learned that we cannot anticipate all variables.
When the child’s key worker, our social worker and the rest of the Rafiki Mwema household are satisfied that the child is ready to move home we begin a 12 week step down program.
During this 12 week period our outreach team will visit and work closely with parents and/or family members to train them in our Attachment Play Program (APP). Our outreach team will work with schools, churches and village elders to ensure they understand the impact of the children’s situations and help educate them around the subject of sexual abuse.
We then invite the parents to come to the house for one day a week (staying in our volunteer accommodation if they live a long distance away) and they participate in the APP sessions with their child. Only when we have observed their sessions and can see they are being conducted in a safe manner we are and are satisfied that they are responding to their parent will they take their child home.
Children are aware from the beginning of the 12-week step down program that they and we are working towards them being able to return home to a safe and loving environment.
On the night before they leave, we have a celebration for them where all the staff and girls say goodbye. This can be a very emotional time but is a very important part of the process.
Our Outreach team and the child’s key worker (All children have a key worker who delivers their APP and is the person they attend all court hospital and other appointments. The children go to their key worker if they have any worries or joys to share) and as many staff as are able accompany the child to their home to hand them over. We will visit the home twice a week and telephone daily for 4 weeks (or longer if needed). We then scales down the visits over the next 4 weeks to once a week and then fortnightly, 3 weekly and then monthly.
We visit all our children monthly unless they live in the remote villages where we cannot get our transport to.
We will keep in telephone contact forever really and we find that the families come to think of the child as part of their lives, in a very positive way.
Every conceivable care is taken for the children when they leave Rafiki Mwema but even then there are times that we are reminded just how much stigma can be attached to our little girls and boys and the consequences of their abuse.
This is why we NEVER stop being involved in their lives. We look to the day when we can guarantee their safety and have them therapeutically educated with us until they are 18 – a new generation of strong, able young people.
Volunteering and Support
Firstly, you rock! Thanks so much for expressing an interest in helping Rafiki Mwema here in Australia.
Everyone involved in this charity is a volunteer who is passionate about helping others, and the fact that you’ve found this page is proof that you too want to make a difference to the lives of vulnerable girls and boys in Kenya.
Our team is always looking for motivated individuals to help with our wonderful charity here in Australia. While we don’t have specific jobs to fill as such, there is a whole range of projects and tasks that we need your help with, in order to keep our charity moving forward and raising money.
Obviously, we can’t pay you, but the joy you’ll get from knowing you are making a difference to the lives of dozens of young children who would otherwise have an uncertain future will be payment enough, trust us.
If you’re interested in becoming a valued member of Rafiki Mwema then we want you! To help us find a position or role where you can thrive and put your incredible skills to good use, we’d love you to fill out the form over here in as much detail as you can.
Remember, don’t be modest, we’ve all got talents and we’re excited about helping you unlock and use yours to help provide a safe and happy future for disadvantaged children in Kenya.
Tell us how you want to help and we’ll find a way to make it happen!Apply Now
We appreciate the desire to get involved and help the children at Rafiki Mwema, however, we don’t accept visitors or volunteers at Rafiki Mwema as a matter of safety for our children. People coming in and out of their lives, no matter how well meaning, is not always as beneficial as people may hope. Our children require continuity of care and routine which is provided beautifully by our local staff. Any disruption to this can create setbacks in their emotional progress and healing process.
There are many other meaningful ways you can support Rafiki Mwema and our children. For a fraction of the cost of a trip to Kenya, you can make a one time donation to our running costs, or organise a fundraiser in your home town. On a longer term basis you can sponsor one or more of our children to ensure they have all they need day to day. If that cost is prohibitive you can sponsor our outreach team who continue to monitor and keep our children safe if they are able to return to their family for as little as $5 per month.
Our children love receiving mail, feel very welcome to send small packages, or letters, just to make contact or even encourage local school groups to write to our children.
Thank you for your interest in helping us at Rafiki Mwema with the help of your business!
All volunteers at Rafiki Mwema must have a current police check and Working With Children Card, blue card or the equivalent. No volunteer to Rafiki Mwema would not be left unattended with the children at any time. This helps ensure the safety of all of our children at all times.
To protect their privacy and confidentiality, volunteers and visitors should not discuss the children’s trauma histories without express permission of the Rafiki Mwema staff. Full details of the children’s trauma may not be disclosed if it is deemed not necessary in order to work and live around the children. When discussing the children’s stories online, their real names are never used. If an accompanying photo is used, it will never match the story being discussed. These measures help to ensure that the child’s safety and confidentiality is protected.
Rafiki Mwema is not a religious based organisation. However, many of our Kenyan staff identify as Christian, and this is the dominant religion in Kenya. It is important that we continue to support the children’s beliefs and ensure that they are able to attend a church if they wish to do so. Other children may also choose to accompany them or their key worker to church.
Our founder earns less than the minimum wage for a 35 hour week, but works around 80 hours each week.
We certainly are! In Australia we are a registered charity under the ACNC and our ABN is 676 400 637 30.
We are also a member of the FIA (Fundraiser Institute of Australia) so we ensure we are always up to date with fundraising best practices.
In Kenya, we are a registered NGO – Registration Number OP .218/051/22-131/13252.