The Children`s Home
The FURAHA PHÖNIX Kinderhaus is home to more than 50 children. The children sometimes come to circumstances to the children's home, which are simply unimaginable from the European point of view. Some of them are from stinking garbage dumps or they have lived on the street and suffered terrible abuse. Some just knocked on our door one day and then stayed. Others were assigned to us through the local authorities.
They all have one thing in common: they no longer have parents. Maybe they still have a helpless single parent or an old grandma somewhere ... but in short: street orphans in Africa are really alone and on their own. At an age when we would not let our children in Hamburg alone on the road ... These children have little realistic chance of a livable life.
Our more than 50 children have something in common: they have the children's home as their home and they have us and our local staff as their family.
Now they have got another chance!
In the about 30 km north of the famous port city of Mombasa located small village named Barani, the children's house is located on an approximately 3,500 square meters of land, about 10 minutes walk from the sea. In 5 minutes walking distance the children reach the local elementary school of Barani and in 10 minutes by car one is in Mtwapa, the nearest bigger city for shopping.
The main house is the actual "Kinderhaus", where the "little boys" live until the age of about 16 years. In the center of the house is the large hall, which serves as a classroom, dining room and sometimes as a church on Sundays. A total of 40 boys live in this children's home, the other (bigger) boys live next door in the so-called "trainee house". For food but mostly all but gathered in the main house.
The boys in the trainee house should learn to "stand more on their own feet". They are responsible for large parts of their everyday lives alone and take care of individual meals from shopping to cooking - as long as they do not persuade "Mama Evarlyn", the director, to dine in the hall. Then there is more time for homework. Otherwise, the approximately 15 trainee boys take care of their house largely alone.
Another outbuilding is the "School-House". A kind of classroom-house, in which the children's internal German teacher (and at the same time manager of the children's house), Mr. Ali Ziro, gives his lessons. In the evening there is also tutoring offered for all other subjects, or there are learning groups together.
In addition, there is probably the most beautiful place in the children's house - the pavilion. A great place to relax.
Then there is a house for the staff with bedrooms and washrooms and adjacent to the trainee house is the office of the director and the manager.
The property is quite full built together with the football field - but football is of course the most important anyway.
The adjoining property behind the children's house is leased to. There is a large vegetable garden for self-consumption and some pocket money on about 5,000 square meters.
Currently, at least 50 boys call the children's home "their home".
The most common question is then mostly the same: "Why only boys?" The obvious answer is obvious: If boys and girls (who are only morally siblings) live together, that's not good for concentration and academic achievement. To put it mildly ... In addition, the Kenyan state prohibits "mixed children's houses" up to a certain size of the institution.
In addition, out of 10 orphans in precarious position, probably 8 or 9 guys are. For the most part, girls who have lost their parents do not end up on the street, but rather end up with family members or neighbors to work in the home, for example. Maybe not nice, but not reachable for an institution like ours to intervene.
Should we ever get a girl over the authorities, then we have an "emergency room" for temporary solutions. Otherwise, we cooperate with a nearby children's house for girls, with whom we exchange.
As already described, some of our children come from unimaginably cruel and bad environments to us in the children's home. Maltreatment, various traumas, criminal neglect and drug addiction (mostly glue) are the challenges for our social workers and teachers.
We call it "speed learning" when we try to get the children back to school with massive tutoring lessons. Many of the children have lost years of their lives on the street, so they should go through age due to a class that they can not intellectually create.
Some are in school for the first time in their lives. Finding the connection is not always easy.
Especially as the glue sniffing as a cheap drug against hunger in many a child has left a real mark. In such cases, we still try to bring the child to school and then put it in a suitable (simple) job.
The majority of the children, however, are indescribably grateful for the opportunity of a school education, inquisitive and surprisingly hard-working. Anyone who achieves good results will be supported, financed and accompanied by our institution until the degree program is completed.
Currently we have for example 4 guys at the university. Most boys aim for a vocational education after school and we accompany them accordingly until the first job.
"active Children`s Home Friends"
The "active children's home friends" travel mostly in January as a group and otherwise several times throughout the year distributed to Kenya, to see locally on the right and to expand the children's house steadily. Thus, over the years, the children's home has been getting better equipped and expanded.
Currently around 55 boys between the ages of 3 and around 20 live in the Kinderhaus. The "active children's home friends" maintain friendly relations with the Kenyan employees and with the children and help to find solutions to several problems.
Incidentally, the absorption capacity of the facility has now been reached. Currently, in the circle of the "active" thinking about the main building to increase in order to help other children can. It is planned to expand the number of children from around 55 to around 75. Thousands of children in the streets of Mombasa are still living under the most adverse living conditions, so the expansion of course makes sense.
The "active Children`s Home friends" support the work in the children's home on site, they help with the administration in Germany and they are constantly acquiring additional donors for our association.
The director and her team
Director of the institution is Mrs. Evarlyn Charo. She obviously has found her dream job, because she really cares about "her boys", as she calls the boys affectionately and dedicates herself to her task with full commitment and great energy. Previously, Evarlyn was a project manager at the Kenyan Youth Office. She took care of problem families, led rehabilitation projects and educated colleagues. It is well networked with authorities and can therefore usually problems arising unbureaucratically from the world. Thus, Evarlyn Charo brings the best conditions for the management of the children's home.
With Ali Kenga, the director is a German-speaking manager. Ali Kenga is responsible for organization and accounting. He also teaches German. A certified social worker, two trained childminders and two part-time tutor help the boys around the clock. In addition, the children's home employs a cook, a caretaker who also teaches physical education, a cleaning man, two security and a part-time gardener, who also spents a lot of time with the youngest boys.