Case study: Champion for Kenya's street children

A survivor of the streets, Benson stood up for Kenya’s street children.

Benson is from Kenya, East Africa, where almost half of the population live below the poverty line leaving tens of thousands of children with no choice but to survive on the streets alone. Benson was just eight years old when he began living on the streets.

“At home we were six children. I used to stay with parents and they were unable, I just decided to go out of home, and I went to the street.”

After four years drifting across Kenya, Benson arrived in Mombasa. Life on the streets was very difficult, and like so many street children he became dependent on drugs.

When Benson was just 10 years old he was arrested in a police round up and put into an adult prison. His only crime being he did not have a home. Benson spent the next two months sharing a cell with hardened criminals whilst denied access to a lawyer or an adult to speak for him. He was never charged with a crime or taken to court.

Glad’s House, our partner project based in Mombasa working to support street children, had made contact with Benson and organised his release. They invited him to attend their drop in centre where he was able to speak to social workers, receive drug rehabilitation support, access education and play football.

“It helps me to achieve my dreams because it encourages me and it makes me to have good grades so that I can go to college.”

In 2014 Benson was chosen to captain Kenya and represent the millions of street children across the world at the Street Child World Cup in Rio de Janeiro.

9 Kenya celebrate

“My goal at the Street Child World Cup was to make sure that my friends who are still on the streets, to show them that even they are very important, and they can come out of the street.”

Benson continues to be under the support of Glad’s House.

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Endorsements
  • “It was a privilege to be invited to the launch of the Street Child World Cup at Downing Street. It gives children a voice through football, sales a platform to express their rights and celebrate their abilities – I’m proud to add my support.”

    Wilson Palacios, Stoke City and Honduras Midfielder
  • “No child should have to live on the streets.  I commend the Street Child World Cup for providing a platform for the rights of street children to be heard.”

    Rt Hon Gordon Brown MP, Former Prime Minister
  • “It was possible to gather many nationalities, story cultures, viagra 60mg and form a nation: a nation of free man, with equal rights and opportunities, mutual respect, rightful duties. It was 10 days when the world, in that corner of Rio, was fair to socially excluded children; they could feel the beauty of being somebody in this world.”

    Abdul Faquir, Team Mozambique, Project Leader