Project information

Empowering Street Youth through Associations

This project seeks to rehabilitate youth living on the streets, at risk of exploitation, violence and drug abuse. Formation of street associations will postively change the lives of young people and in turn the perception of their community towards them, enabling access to employment opportunities.

June 2012 - May 2014

Charity information: Railway Children

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  • Need


    Young people are struggling to survive on the streets of Nairobi after leaving their homes due to poverty and violence. Once on the streets they face potentially many years of exploitation, abuse and neglect, becoming involved in petty crime to find enough money for the next meal and addicted to drugs to cope with their trauma. They have limited opportunities to find steady employment to ensure a move away from street life.


    This project aims to work with street youth who have formed informal street gangs and work with them to establish productive and respected street 'Associations'. The group will be encouraged through stages - Formation, Capacity Building, and Empowerment to elect their own leaders, take on vocational training and business skills to enable employment or set-up a business, encouraging a positive contribution to society and a move away from the streets. They will also help younger children find help

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To engage young people living on the streets and rehabilitate them to move away from street life.


    » Outreach workers will gain the trust of young people through sport and activities, establishing 'associations' to create a positive change for youth.

    Success will be the creation of more 'associations' and the ongoing engagement of the youth to change their own lives.

    Aim 2

    To enable young people to access employment or create a business, enabling self sufficiency.


    » Established 'associations' will choose vocational training courses and business skills training suited to their interests and develop self efficacy.

    Success will be young people enabled to earn a living and to move away from life on the streets to safe accomodation.

    Aim 3

    New children coming to the streets will be able to access safety and move away from street life.


    » Associations will refer new children coming to the streets to outreach workers, where they will be able to access a safe place, away from the street.

    Success will be fewer new children engaging with street life and accessing safety much earlier.

  • Impact


    In the long term the project will ensure that young people are able to earn a living and provide for their families, breaking the cycle of poverty and violence that they themselves experienced in their early lives.

    Children and youth in Nairobi will have improved emotional well-being, develop healthy coping strategies and adapt to living a life away from the dangers of the street , in safe accomodation.

    The wider community will view the youth positively, offering employment.


    There are risks that youth may be resistant to engaging with the project due to drug abuse, low self esteem and lack of trust in society. This will be overcome through recreational and sporting activities which create a positive trusting relationship with project leaders, and access to drug rehabilitation. Making their own decisions as a group, such as electing their own leaders will ensure they participate in changing their own lives.


    Our partners submit regular progress reports to Railway Children and we also undertake biannual project visits.
    Our website includes regular news updates and blogs about our work. We also communicate with our supporters through enewsletters to keep them informed.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £69,168

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £31,401 Street Association Formation Workshop for 60 associations (1200 youth) , street work to contact 640 children & youth, per year
      £31,478 Association Capacity Building Vocational and business skills training for 100 youths, per year
      £6,289 Overheads Contribution to admin and finance costs
  • Background


    The project will focus on Nairobi in Kenya. Kenya has 500,000 school leavers each year and over the past 6 years has only generated 150,000 new jobs. On the extreme margins of Kenyan youth are tens of thousands who are homeless and struggling to survive, often resorting to petty crime and drugs.


    60% of Kenyans live on less than $2 a day. The project will benefit 1420 youth living on the streets to form positive relationships within the community, access skills training to find gainful employment or generate income from a business and move away from the streets.

    In addition, the associations created will provide a protection network for younger children coming to the streets, referring them to the project to access a safe place, preventing a prolonged exposure to street life

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Railway Children has worked in the region since 2006, with local organisations who provide in depth knowledge of the area and the context in which they work. Our model seeks to exchange learning between our partners, ensuring that innovative interventions are replicated and demonstrated to government and other key stakeholders. We train our partners, arrange exchange visits and encourage robust planning, documentation and reflection ensuring their programmes are more robust.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Undugu Society, Nairobi

    They have developed the association model and will create more associations in Nairobi, plus train CRK to deliver this model in Kitale.

We aim to reach children before an abuser can

We aim to reach children before an abuser can


Could help us to reunite a family