This month we are fundraising to provide a safe space for the homeless children of Kenya to go every single Friday for a year.

‘Papasa’ the drop-in centre run by our partner Glad’s House, offers respite from the challenges of living on the streets. The centre is open 2-3 days a week and set in an area called Magongo in Mombasa.

30 to 60 children make their way there on open days. Here they are given nutritious meals, somewhere to wash their clothes and possessions as well as the opportunity to play sports and games. There are lessons, access to social workers, life skills sessions and counseling.

A typical Friday at Papasa will be as follows…

Children and young people begin to arrive at 7.30am in time for a meal at 9am. Breakfast is usually porridge but sometimes eggs as a treat.

Guests gather to play football. Football is street rules so as many children can play as want to! Sometimes it’s 5 v 5, whilst other times it’s as many as 21 vs 21.

Classes take place throughout the day. These cover Swahili, English and Maths. Some of the pupils have never gone to school and some may be at secondary level so teachers work with children and young people on the level they need.

Throughout the day guests have the opportunity to wash their bodies and clothes. The current washing facilities are fairly basic but a purpose built centre is planned for 2018 which will have improved facilities.

After lessons there is chill time; an opportunity to get together and play board games (Connect 4, Draughts, Snakes & Ladders and Uno are favourites!), read books from the library or have one to ones with social workers.

In the afternoon there are life skills sessions, which cover a wide range of topics including conflict resolution, positive communication, sexual health, positive relationships, goal setting and substance misuse.

Lunch is usually rice and beans, ugali, meat and vegetables. Chapatis will be served as a special treat.

Children and young people are taken back to the city centre at 2.30pm to 3pm.