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Nafsi Afrika acrobats is a name coined from a swahili word meaning the soul of Afrika. It was started in 2002 but dully registered in 2005 with the Ministry of culture and social services. The group is based in Dagoretti constituency of Nairobi and run their activities from their offices in kabiria-satellitte(Nairobi). Most of them having limited educational background and from poor backgrounds(up-brought in the slum's setting), experienced the harsh life in the ghetto and occasionally got trapped in drugs and crime influences. After bumping into each other and realising that they were blessed with smilar artistic skills that they would exploit for a livelihood, Nafsi Afrika acrobats was born. After six years of succesfull existence as a family of seven, they saw the need of projecting and leaving a mark in the community. Setting an example to be emulated by fellow youths in Kenya. Street families being a big problem in Kenya, and witnessing street kids graduating into hard-core criminals and ending up being gunned down they felt concerned and initiated a programme to address street childrens' plight. There exist a strong attachment between us and the kids as most of them are from families we know and we can relate with them easily in their language, having been from similar backgrounds. Currently the programme is run from three training centers in the Ghettos;Kawangware Lutheran church,Waithaka social hall and Daggoretti market training grounds. The problem the groups faces currenly is intergrating, sustaining and keeping the kids together always as it forces us to respond to some of their daily needs as in feeding them, and providing them with clothings. Due to the above problem most of them are on and off, forcing as to reach out to them and search them always for training. In the near future the group plans to set up a day care center from where all activities shall be run and some of the children's basic needs responded to.

Nafsi Afrika street children outreach programme is designed to capacity build street children and empower them on gainful livelihood in the field of arts and arts – related activities in the city and it’s environ. Emphasis is put on developing the capacity of the street children and other unfortunate youths to participate, as appropriate, in urban poverty reduction responsibilities, and also elimination of such vices like crime and drug abuse. Its rationale lies in the provision of a friendly approach to training opportunities in acrobatics, dance, music, drama, and fine arts and crafts.

PROJECT MISSION AND OBJECTIVES The overall aim of this project is to provide artistic empowerment services to street children, especially those most vulnerable, residing in Nairobi, aged 3 to 26 years.

VISION In response to the alarming situation of street children in Nairobi , Nafsi Afrika acrobats empowers the street wise generation to have ownership of the reformation and development process and be agents of transformation in the city of Nairobi.

MISSION To facilitate the empowerment of the street children in the city to have greater ownership of the development and reformation process through disseminating relevant information, imparting appropriate skills and formation of performing teams, so that the competence and professional qualification achieved, may be placed at the service of these children and street youths, thus contributing to the development of the city of Nairobi and assist in prevention or alleviation of the street children and steet youths or rather street families problem. The street children and street youthful generation need to acquire or exploit their relevant artistic skills to help them take decisions and actions that give them more control of their own lives and thus enable them participate actively in the boarder development process instead of graduating into car jackers, bank robbers, muggers, conmen, or criminals.

Area of focus for the project includes: a) Participates in the outreaches, identification, consolidation, convincing, training and evaluation of training progress and the training programmes. providing in particular, assistance in training and facilitation of traininig equipments and props. b) Assist in providing, or help in negotiating for show employment-counseling services to competent groups and in particular, in job search and marketing of their artistic careers. c) Assist in coordination of contract opportunities and in the formulation of job opportunities matrix, which links employers or agents with artists job seekers. d) Assist in identifying /soliciting for existing donors and coordinating referrals of the formed acrobatics and dance groups with willing donors and employers.

In specific the project has been designed to address the following basic components: To provide Contracts ,a plat-form for artistic improvement and marketing, employment opportunities so as to have more access to job markets to these artistically endowed street children and street youths.

To promote and empower the street children and youths with relevant information and artistic skills on employment creation.

To undertake activities geared toward preventing criminality among the street children and youths.

To assess street children and youths needs.

To reduce street children and youths vulnerability especially those residing in the urban areas and ghetto settings by initiating programmes that address their plight.

To develop a network of street kids and youth, youth organizations, government (through the local administration), N.G.O's,Arts agents and employers.

To provide up-to date information and involve the street children and youths in the following areas -: Employment Culture and sports Health Education and training Environment IT training INTERVENTIONS: Interventions can be through three key-ways: Through supporting the economic and social development efforts in different sectors, in particular those, which stimulate a demand for self-reliance, such as basic education besides arts training for the Street children to improve financially,

Through productive dialogue between all the children involved and not involved in the project with the aim of forging effective understanding of the causes, reasons and consequences of any activity undertaken.

Through assisting in the rehabilitation process, improving of poverty alleviation activities for all and capacity build the disadvantaged, as in using the same rehabilitated street children in outreaching for, and recruiting more street children.

Currently besides the actual acrobatics and dance training that Nafsi Acrobats extend to these children volutarilly, The group also negotiate and invite experts and stake holders in other artistic fields and also organisations involved with youth development, to extend workshop programmes to these children and youths.

Contact: KEN OWINO