Make Me Smile International

Make Me Smile Kenya

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    The Childrenclubs serve to the local expansion of our Safe Park and advocate against stigmatisation and discrimination. The approach of the Childrenclubs is based on theories of child-and youth welfare and practical experience. We want to reach children, youths and their nurturers, reduce trauma-symptoms and assist them with their social and emotional behaviour with help of this therapeutic environment. The children get encouraged to open themselves, share challenges, interact with and learn from each others, figure out their talents as well as getting in touch with their rights as a child. Childrenclubs take place weekly. Overall, 250 children are able to participate. In cooperation with the „Entwicklungshilfeklub“ (Austrian Club for Development Collaboration)  a „Grand Childrenclub“ is organised every month with about 500 children. Our goal is that in future the Childrenclubs will be run by elderly youths.
    The following activities are provided: organized sport activities and games, cultural games, support with homework, a mobile library, youth groups, debates, information and advice on drug abuse and HIV/AIDS prevention as well as effective ecological farming methods, which all have a lasting therapeutic effect.
    It is important that the participation of the children and teenagers is completely voluntary. They are able to decide for themselves in which activities they want to participate, which topics they want to discuss and which not. This allows them to develop individually and at their own pace.

    Sexuality is still a big taboo topic in Kenya. It is rare, that parents provide their children with necessary information about sexuality, HIV/AIDS, hygiene, etc. Therefore we have started to organize sexual education programs for teenagers. Our aim is to build awareness and to provide a safe space to talk about HIV/AIDS, contraception, family planning, hygiene and health issues.
    Due to a strong population increase, the high HIV-prevalence and the concomitant pauperization of our community, a growing lack of childcare emerges and there is no space where a child can just be a child. This problem can be counteracted by our Childrenclubs. As they are a mobile expansion of our Safe-Park, the Childrenclubs take place in  diverse schools, to raise awareness about child- and youth care as well as offering psychosocial support in Kenya.
    Members of the community supervise the ‘Children’s Club’, ensuring it is built on local initiatives and ideas.