Mombasa, KENYA: A church in Mombasa has set up a counseling program at the Maboxini slum, Mbaraki in Mvita sub-county so as to help street families cope with the challenges they face in life.
According to the religious leaders, the program was set up 10 years ago, and they try and minister to the young people in the slums and train them on various skills to help them become better people in the society.
Pastor Rosen Akilima of the Adventist church, one of the leaders of the program, told Baraka FM that they saw the need of reaching to the street families to help them cope with life challenges.
“We discovered that some of these young people did not wish to be at this place; as others come here due to domestic violence and others lack school fees and so they look for the easiest ways of getting income and find themselves lured into street life and use of illegal drugs,” said the pastor.
William Angatia a volunteer counselor, said that it had been along journey in trying to make the society at large to accept the street families as many have stereotyped them as bad people.
“People are afraid to associate with them because of their behaviors; some use drugs that lead them to do bad things like stealing,” said William.
According to William, they offer various counselling sessions depending on the condition of the person who comes to seek help.
Through counseling, he said they also impact spiritual knowledge on them to make them understand that there is a God whom they can depend on to change their life completely for eternity.
“We are encouraged with acceptance of the word of God by the victims that makes the society ready to embrace them back in the society, believing that God is able to help them despite their challenges,” said the counselor.
He said since they begun this session, they have witnessed more than 30 young people die due to drug abuse, of which he says the government can help solve the menace by finding a way to help the street families as they are here to stay.
He adds that they have also been able to take some of them to do technical courses but they are still appealing to more well wishers to come aboard.
“We have taken 40 for driving courses and other technical courses and after the counselling session in July counseling we are expecting to baptize 10 to 15 youths and and also assist them on how to lead their new lives.” Said William.
Most residents in Maboxini slums come from broken families which according to the Adventist Church that offers counselling services; most of them live in abject poverty making them indulge in various social evils in the society.