Legally Eighteen, Illegally Adult
To be declared an adult in the Kenyan government one must have an identity card.
Without an identity card opportunities for growth and progress become an impossible dream.
To get an identity card you need a birth certificate, a chief’s letter, school testimonials and fully filled form from a government office.
Picture a street child who has attained the legal age of 18 trying to procure such a document. On the onset, the said child cannot get inside a government office just by how he or she is dressed. Secondly, the child does not have access to his or her birth records or educational testimonials. Last, but not least, they do not have the resources to for such an undertaking.
Victor, a young adult in the Fikisha rehabilitation program has been trying to get an identity card for years. Numerous trips to the government office have yielded no results.
A friend of Fikisha came to his rescue and has been helping him acquire his elusive identity card.
Through his help, Victor and other street children will be able to become legalized adults. This is a dream come true and a step in the right direction for the street children in the Fikisha rehabilitation program.
Victor’s story is replicated all over the country as street children do not get the same treatment as any other young adult. They are discriminated upon due to the fact that they are associated with the bad ills of the society.
Second chances are not granted as easily even as the street child has undergone rehabilitation and has changed his bad habits.
The society we live in is so prejudiced against the street child. It will take continued advocacy to ensure that the system becomes accommodating to every person.