The shelter is a transitional residence. Children will stay 3 or 4 months.
Children cannot simply be snatched from the slum, authorities must be notified first. This means the police and the LCC (Local Community Chairman) will be notified. The LCC gives signed documentation that he has been notified of the child’s whereabouts.
RAC will make an attempt to find the child’s parent/parents if the child wants to return home, and most do. We will visit the family and ask if they want the child to return home and if they are able to care for him and provide an education. If the answer is yes, the child will be introduced back into the family and follow up visits will be made. If they cannot afford to pay for education, we hope to pay day school fees. If they do not want the child back, we will seek another alternative, such as another family member. The last resort would be a permanent residential facility.
Children will only be accepted into the shelter if they are seeking reintroduction back into their family and if they are not addicted. They must want to continue their education. Children will not attend school for the 3 or 4 months they are in our transitional home as they are being rehabilitated into normal living conditions.
All children will be responsible for daily chores and for the upkeep of his ‘living space’. There will be a small garden and a few chickens and rabbits. We will furnish materials for cages and someone will teach the boys to build them and how to care for the animals.
Local artisans will be brought in to teach how to make crafts and other sellable items (such as soap). A work ethic will be instilled. Local dancers, musicians, singers, artists will be brought in to explore the children’s creativity.
Bible classes will be a routine part of the day. Also basic math, English and social studies.
Older children will be responsible for shopping at the markets and selecting the food items that are most affordable on any given day. (One day it might be sweet potatoes and rice, another day beans and posho and another day matoke and Irish). The meals will vary every day. Once a week there will be meat, chicken or fish.
There is a large room in the kitchen block that will be used to keep woodworking tools, gardening supplies, etc. There is another building that will be used as Bakka’s office and a classroom.
Children will be encouraged to play on organized soccer teams. We will pay the fees and for uniforms.
Children will be kept busy, as too much free time would be a temptation for them to return to the slums. If a child runs away, he will be given once chance to return to the home. If he runs away again, he will not be allowed back.
Workers will not punish children with physical abuse. Punishment will be extra chores.
Children will be given a medical exam before entering the shelter. Appropriate vitamins and drugs (if necessary) will be purchased.
Daily records will be kept as to the child’s behavior, improvements, set backs, willingness to learn or participate in activities, etc.
Documentation will be kept regarding the search for parents, parents’s interviews, follow up visits.
Each child will have a bed, mattress, bedding, towel, a set of dishes and a locker for his personal belongings.