CEO Joe Kariuki offers to help ‘genius’ street boy
You see them walking about the streets asking for some spare change or some food from you.
As they extend their grimy hands, you flinch and move away saying, “Sio leo, boss!”
At the end of a long day of begging, they make their bed on cold streets or in inner-city alleys. Such is the life of Kenya’s street children – a needy group that society has seen as a nuisance.
What people fail to see is the hidden possibilities presented by this vulnerable group. This was, however, not the case for Candy and Candy CEO Joe Kariuki.
After seeing a video of a street boy, who despite being heavily intoxicated, exuded exceptional brilliance – the CEO has offered a helping hand.
“This young man has something! It breaks my heart to see young people of Kenya living on the streets. He talks about wanting an opportunity, and if he is ready I am ready to give him an opportunity. I would like to play a part in changing his life. I will personally help him go into rehabilitation and to school. And I want to see him being an example for others,” he said.
Such responses, though noble, have often been called myopic. Kariuki’s approach, however, seeks to go further.“Let’s investigate the real problem behind him being in the streets, and we need to engage the families.”
The core problem, according to Kariuki, is women empowerment.
“This is another reason to help empowering the women of Kenya. If the women are empowered they will empower the families. Do you think an empowered family will allow their kids to get lost in the street? They will do whatever is in their power to give them a home and a safe upbringing,” said the CEO.
This is just yet another reason why African Women and Beyond (AFWAB) can have such a high impact on communities.
AFWAB co-founder Martine Kappel says, “From working with street kids for a number of years, I have experienced how challenging it is for them to trust and to believe that they also deserve love. Often the kids have parents, but their homes are dysfunctional. It is vital that we help women in creating this for their families! Which is why AFWAB is so close to my heart”
The AFWAB initiative is building platforms for empowering women especially women from the jua kali sector.