My name is Eleeyah and I am aiming to raise $3,000 to support the adaptation and pilot of a theatre-based health promotion project for youth who live on the streets of Eldoret, Kenya. Street-connected youth face many health, social and economic challenges. This project involves working closely with street-connected youth in partnership with the Academic Model Providing Access to Healthcare (AMPATH), Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital (MTRH), community-based organizations, and the street-connected youth. Street-connected youth also face stigma and discrimination when trying to access healthcare services as a result of preconceived notions about them. Hence, the goal of this project is to bridge the gap that exists between street-connected youth and healthcare providers so that street-connected youth can tend to their healthcare needs & have better health outcomes, which will ultimately improve their quality of life.
If you’re interested in learning more about street-connected youth in Eldoret, Kenya, please read below!
*The photo was taken and published with consent from the street-connected youth of Eldoret.
Eldoret has about 1900 separated, abandoned, and street-connected children and youth. These children & youth turn to spending their days and nights on the streets as a method of survival. With the fast growth of the town, there is an increase in the number of street-connected youth with little or no improvements to their situations. Many of these youth endure poverty, violence, abuse and live in inadequate conditions, with minimal protection. The abuse street-connected youth endure is perpetuated by peers, family, police and other adults.
This vulnerable and neglected population also endure many health-related issues. Street-connected youth carry a disproportionate burden of morbidities related to infectious diseases, sexual and reproductive health, mental health and substance use. When attempting to access healthcare services, they are often stigmatized and discriminated against by healthcare providers, which often leads to street-connected youth being tossed back and forth from one clinic to the next. Ultimately street-connected youth are not receiving the care and treatment that they desperately need, as a result of this mistreatment. There is a great need to bridge the gap that exists between healthcare providers and street-connected youth so that both sides can work together and improve the health conditions and quality of life of street-connected youth.
I have the pleasure to work alongside dedicated members from the Rafiki Centre for Excellence in Adolescent Health through the AMPATH consortium. These staff members and volunteers include front-line workers, peer navigators and researchers. The project that we are working on will aim to reduce the stigma faced by street-connected youth when trying to access healthcare through creating and implementing a theatre-based health promotion program.
The funds for this project are very minimal. Hence, I am looking to raise $3000 in order to cover the costs associated with implementing the project. These costs include providing food, clothing and transportation for street-connect youth participating on a weekly basis; community mobilization; rental of a space, chairs and stage for final performance; & printing costs for flyers and other materials.
I would be so grateful if you could spare as little or as much as you can offer. This would make a huge impact on the street-connected youth who have been neglected and discriminated against.