Six Ways to Support Our Transitional Housing

Lifesong Kenya is planning to provide transitional housing for youth re-entering the community as part of our programs. It is an initiative that needs your support. Here are six ways to support our transitional housing.

Six Ways to Support Our Transitional Housing
Transitional housing is the best tool to prevent stigma and initiate healing and reconciliation. Photo: Lifesong Kenya

Male teens exiting prison need our help. Since November 2017, Lifesong Kenya has worked with over 200 male teens. 75% of these boys did not have direct contact or engagement from their families during visits or court appearances. As a result, most of the boys experienced trauma, depression and mental imbalances.

Lack of parental visits and engagement during legal process is a major contributor to male teens re-offending and coming back to prison as hardened criminals. Those who are unlucky often end up getting injured or maimed for life when they get beaten by an angry mob. A good number of them get lynched and die as a result of mob justice.

Over the last 3 years, Lifesong Kenya has closely worked with prison officers, families, the police and those who have been wronged and hurt. We have witnessed – first hand – the harm that time in prison can do to teenagers, their peers and their families. Most of the time, trauma and rejection experienced by juvenile offenders lead to resentment, bitterness and a strong desire to revenge.

The good news is that we can restore the dignity of male teens exiting juvenile prison and reduce cases of rejection, trauma and stigma by providing transitional housing. Our plan is to start off in Nairobi then set up other transitional housing programs across the country.

This coming November, our volunteers will team up with other cyclists in order to raise money that is equivalent to 1 year’s rent. We encourage everyone to take part by supporting and donating towards this initiative.

Six Ways to Support Our Transitional Housing

Here are six tips on how you can help us to restore dignity and provide healing to male teens exiting juvenile prison. By following these tips, you will help provide critical support for exceptional young men who need a second chance.

Here’s a link to what Project: Restore FIBI, one of our partners is doing in Canada. 

1. Support Our Fundraising Event

Half Way Cycle

We have already identified a vacant 3-bedroomed house that is ideal for a half-way house. This house is on an eighth of an acre and is big enough for the boys to engage in economic activities that will sustain the facility. Your support will enable us to raise 1 year’s rent that is required to secure it.

The transitional housing facility will enable us to provide shelter for male teens who have been rejected by their families. During their stay, the beneficiaries will go through the following:-

  • Skills training and capacity building
  • Job placements
  • Psychosocial and mental health support
  • Mediation and reconciliation with families and the community

By helping us to provide transitional housing, you will have helped provide a second chance and a lifeline. You will also help make our communities more safe and secure our families, businesses and institutions.

2. Provide Casual Jobs

Lifesong Kenya Transitional Housing
A casual job can help provide a foundation to bounce back and restore dignity to a youth who needs a second chance. Photo: Lifesong Kenya

Providing casual jobs that can help exceptional young men returning from prison to find their feet is important. Casual jobs can help young people to earn wages that can help them to buy food, clothing as well as pay rent. These jobs include, but not limited to:-

  • Supermarket
  • Carpentry workshops
  • Welding sheds
  • Farms
  • Markets

Our clients are aware of the need for jobs and earning income. They will be helped to come up with creative job seeking, not only in the interim, but in the long run. One of the sources where we will find jobs includes artisans along Ngong Road.

3. Become A Volunteer
Lifesong Kenya Volunteer Opportunities
Empowering youth re-entering the community enables them to gain the skills they need to find jobs. Photo: Lifesong Kenya

Being a voluntary organization, your time and expertise as a volunteer will help us get the vital support that our boys need. Our work needs volunteers who can help us share about our work on social media. We are also looking for volunteers who will help in the following areas:-

  • Guidance and counselling
  • Mental health and well being
  • Smart goal setting
  • Mediation and conflict resolution
  • Financial literacy
  • Personal branding
  • Job interviews and CV writing

 

4. Provide Internship Opportunities

Internship offers the best opportunity for inexperienced youth to gain valuable experience. By providing hands-on work experience, our youth will acquire the following knowledge:-

  • Witness firsthand the day-to-day job duties they can expect to encounter in their chosen field
  • Learning transferable skills such as communication, teamwork, and computer proficiency
  • Fully get prepared to enter the workforce when they exit the transitional housing program
5. Sponsor a Youth Who Needs Further Training
Most male teens reentering the community need support with vocational training /Photo: Lifesong Kenya

Offer to provide sponsorship for an exceptional young man who wants to learn a trade. While prison offers a platform to learn a skill, the time spent isn’t enough to master a trade. This being so, most youth exiting juvenile prison often requires more training.

By offering your financial support, you will enable a needy youth to gain valuable skills. This can be in terms of sponsoring a youth to attend college or start a small business.

6. Become An Ambassador

Lifesong Kenya Ambassador

When you become an ambassador for Lifesong Kenya, you are able to help us to reach as many people as possible. This can be through sharing our work with your family, friends and community.

This can help us to find the resources and support that our programs and activities need to thrive. You can share on your social media and have links to our website on your online platforms.

Conclusion

Providing transitional housing for youth exiting juvenile prison is important for their mental health and well being. It enables them to receive skills training and gain access to job opportunities. In addition. it also helps them to heal and fully reconcile with families, the police and the people they had wronged.

In order to provide transitional housing, we need your help and support.  We have an ongoing fundraising campaign that will climax with a cycling event on November 22 to December 2. Please support and share our fundraising link with your network and sphere of influence. 

Are there topics you would like us to write about concerning youths incarceration? Or is there an issue you need help with where juvenile prisons are concerned? 

Email your suggestions, ideas or inquiries to info@lifesongkneya.org or WhatsApp +254 724 411 109. You can also find us on Social Media: Lifesong Kenya

Want to Support Us?

Male teens exiting juveline prison often face high risks of going back to prison as hardened criminals. Help change this by supporting Half Way Cycle 2020 now!

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1 thought on “Six Ways to Support Our Transitional Housing”

  1. Pingback: 'We’re Here to Nurture Exceptional Young Men' – Lifesong Kenya

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