What solution(s) does your initiative address to help emerging entrepreneurs and small businesses grow and thrive in underserved communities? (select all applicable)
Access to financing, Access to talent, Access to economic opportunity.
What has been the impact of your solution to date?
Our model is based on the Child Association Groups model developed by the Undugu Society of Kenya, and one of our partner organizations, Child Rescue Kenya, has applied this model to their work with youth in the Kitale slum in Nairobi. This model has shown to create a tremendously positive impact on the lives of street youth, reducing their exposure to street life and helping protect them from sexual abuse, violence, gang crime, and exposure to drugs and disease.
Previous work in Ethiopia by Retrak has demonstrated that street youth are highly motivated to be entrepreneurs. Our street business and street banking initiatives have enabled young men to start businesses such as shoe shine, street trading, keeping and breeding livestock, and sale of food or produce. The impact of these ventures is that the children are provided a secure environment where they can overcome their problems, gain confidence, realize their potential and begin to build a future.
What is your projected impact over the next 1-3 years?
Over a three-year period we plan to work with 125 street children, whose participation in the Self-Help Groups will enable them to secure a livelihood and move away from street life to live independently in the community. While there is no fixed timeframe for the groups to progress through the process, we expect that within the next three years we will see these children not only living independently, but also saving substantial amounts of money and planning for the future.
What barriers might hinder the success of your project? How do you plan to overcome them?
One of the significant barriers to the progress of street children out of their situation is the lack of belief in their own abilities to effect change in their lives. One of the key methods of restoring a sense of belief and self worth is to help children recognize their own individual strengths and provide them with the means to generate a legitimate income of their own.
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