Meeting Needs supported Hampshire-based charity Glad’s House in their work to help young offenders in Kenya who are kept in appalling conditions – often without access to soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes, loo rolls or underwear.
Meeting Needs funded Glad’s House with a grant of £3000 to provide these items in care packs which are delivered to the prisons in Mombasa by Glad’s House volunteers. From August last year until this year, 667 care packs were provided across in four prisons.
But now the Government of Kenya has now banned all visits to prisons to try and reduce the spread of Covid-19 to vulnerable populations. Vicky Ferguson, Chief Executive Officer of Glad’s House, said: “Before the ban Glad’s House was able to distribute Care Packs to all institutions and also to provide handwashing stations across the rehabilitation school and we delivered 1:1 sessions on hygiene. We are now focusing our efforts on supporting homeless children and young people in Mombasa but are offering telephone support to children and young people and prison staff.
The care packs have a huge impact on the institutions as well as the children and young people who receive the packs. Ms Ferguson said: “The manager of the rehabilitation school that holds children and young people aged 11 – 17 for up to three years told us the government provides insufficient funds to run the institution and the funds are normally delayed. Children are innocent and deserve their rights to be taken care of by the government. He said the problem has been greatly managed by Glad’s House providing the care packs regularly on monthly basis, helping the smooth running of the institution.”
The care packs are vital for young people for not only to ensure their basic needs are met but also for their sense of self-esteem. By being provided with soap, toothbrush, tissue paper, vests, underwear the children feel loved and cared for.