In February of 2018, the NGO was finally approved! It was agreed that the plan and structure were sound, and the model was assessed to be one that would help society and prevent crime. With the NGO approved, the final two steps of the pre-opening preparation consisted of staff training, and logistics.
The team from the United States flew out to coordinate the finer details with the team from Kenya, and to get the house itself ready for its first residents. First, leaders from ALC wrote and trained the staff on all of the best standards and policies related to children’s rehabilitation centers. Everyone had to be prepared – both mentally and spiritually – for what they were about the undertake. All staff members were grateful for the training, as it really helped to set the stage for the days ahead, and also served to help the team members sharpen their communication and leadership skills, even with each other.
Secondly, everyone – both from the United States and from Kenya – had to work hard to get the house as nice as it could be. They completely remodeled the kitchen, purchased beds, brought in furniture, and much more.
Thirdly – and in parallel pathways – the staff began weekly outreaches, hitting the streets with food and clothing to meet the boys and to build rapport. (The efforts were designed to lead the team to discover where the youngest boys hide and survive.) Once the boys agreed to be part of the program, the staff investigated the boys’ origins, visited family members and obtained legal permission to bring the boys into the home. The boys were then taken to our hospital where they received full physicals and treatment for all discovered illnesses. They were also put on weight gain plans and vaccination schedules.
By the end of March, everything was ready for the boys’ arrival and the opening of the home.