In 2015 and 2016, Heshima Kenya has served as a Child Protection Implementing partner to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) under the mandate of identifying and protecting unaccompanied refugee minors.
The scope of our project covers protection for approximately 23,000 unaccompanied refugee children who reside in urban areas and throughout Kenya. In partnership with the UNHCR, Heshima Kenya provided direct services to over 1,100 unaccompanied refugee children and indirect services to over 8,500 in 2015. We opened three satellite community outreach offices in Eastleigh, Kayole and Kitengela, and conducted missions to Meru, Mobasa and Nakuru.
The capacity of Heshima Kenya’s service to the refugee community under our UNHCR partnership includes:
Ensuring Protection: Heshima Kenya staff support refugee children in the formal processes to certify that the child’s best interests are being met and that they can obtain necessary documentation to aid in identification and resettlement. This includes conducting Best Interests Determinations (BIDs), Best Interests Assessments (BIAs), family tracing, home visits, and birth registration and certification.
Providing Care: Heshima Kenya facilitates foster care arrangements and provides for children’s basic needs by provision of food baskets, clothing, and material goods. To ensure that refugee children are not only physically safe, but also emotionally supported, our staff provides counseling and specialized support for the most vulnerable cases.
Fostering Community: One of the primary goals of our UNHCR partnership is to provide community-based support systems for refugee children in Kenya. This is achieved through creating community support and advocacy committees, community outreach workshops, and cultural sensitivity training to local government officials and magistrates.