Word from the Executive Director
When I joined Undugu Society of Kenya in January 2011, it was my first time to work for a purely local organization that has its headquarters in Kenya and is run and governed autonomously by Kenyans. The experience and exposure I acquired in the international organizations I had worked for previously, coupled with the somewhat different culture I found in Undugu, have all contributed to according me a rich and diverse way of looking at life in the development world. If there is one thing I found in Undugu that I did not witness much of elsewhere is value in the programs implemented for the money entrusted to the organization by its funding partners. Before one interacts with Undugu’s beneficiaries and staff, and other organizations working in the area of street children rehabilitation, it is difficult to believe that children and youth found loitering in the streets of towns can actually be transformed into law-abiding, socially acceptable and productive citizens. It is equally amazing how much a little “push” can go a long way in economically empowering these youth to earn their own living and, in many cases, fend for their families as well. In Undugu the programs are all integrated, with all roads leading to the reduction of children living and working on the streets of their communities, whether in rural areas or urban areas. These programs are both preventive and curative. Preventive in that they try to address the root causes or push factors of the street children phenomenom, and curative in that they strive to cure or reform children and youth who are already infected with the street bug. Both types of programs have been successful over the years and accorded Undugu a big name among its peers. I am proud to be associated with this “big brother”. My predecessors, Mr. Aloys Opiyo, Mr. Ezra Mbogori, Mr. Fabio Delape and Undugu’s founder, Father Arnold Grol, certainly did a good job in creating positive visibility for Undugu, both locally and internationally. I believe my task so far is easier than theirs, that is, to maintain the good name of Undugu, to keep it afloat and to grow its business. Undugu is more than four decades old now. My sincere thanks goes to these great men, to all staff who have contributed to Undugu’s work and to all of Undugu’s funding partners, for making it all happen.