For the past 22 years, Agape Children's Ministry has supported the street children of Kisumu, Kenya. When a child is rescued from the streets (and becomes their legal guardians through a court process), Agape initially places each child into its 4-week resident Transition Program, a daily non-standard classroom setting where each child participates in group counseling and receives instruction in the areas of Lifeskills, Bible studies, developing positive character traits, and the dangers of street life. Agape also uses this period of time to diagnose each child's most critical problems and to assess the severity of their spiritual, psycho-social, and academic needs.It is during this transition phase that New Generation Academy (NGA) thoroughly assesses each child in three major academic disciplines: English Languge, Reading, and Mathematics. Through counseling with the child and inteviews with the child's family during home visits, NGA learns of each child's academic background and current grade level. The results allows NGA to develop an Individual Education Plan (IEP) for each child on campus. The goal of the IEP is to bring each child up to grade level in the afforementioned academic disciplines so that when the child returns to their family, they can be successful academically in their local school based on an American remedial curriculum.The IEP also includes counseling on addiction, therapeutic storytelling, play and life skills (known as intervention classes) and vocational training for children not suited to returning to formal education.
Once the IEP is written, NGA works in partnership with Agape's other departments to design an overarching Individual Rehabilitation Plan (IRP) focused upon developing the child's academic, spiritual, and psycho-social needs. Most IRP's last from 30 to 120 days. Once a child's IRP is completed, Agape reassesses each child to determine the their success in meeting the IRP's goals. If the child falls short of the identified goals, Agape may choose to extend the child's IRP to ensure long-term stability and success at home. If all IRP goals are met, then Agape works to reconcile and reunite the child back with their family.
Once a child has been reintegrated back with their family at home, Agape assists in the child's placement into school and continues to visit the child on an ongoing, scheduled basis to ensure that the child remains with the family and continues to progress in their schooling. NGA have also been identified as an Ashoka Changemaker School in 2014
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CEI approaches in action
The method by which children enter the program in itself targets the most needy and at-risk children. The children are found on the street by the Outreach team who spend time everyday on the streets of Kisumu. In addition,children are also brought to the center by the police, the Department of Children's Office, or referal in cooperation with the Remand facility in Kisumu.
In 2012, NGA operated as a traditional primary school by providing education to 90+ resident former street children and 100+ at-risk, community day scholars. After much analysis, Agape realized that NGA was diluting its efforts to educate former street children by also providing schooling to community students (at this time, NGA's student to teacher ratio was 25:1). After much prayer, Agape made the decision for NGA to move away from a traditional primary school model. As a first step, NGA worked with the community students' families and local schools to place all of these children in to outside schools. Agape established NGA's program in August 2013 as a transition center, the number of students being served in remedial school will remain fairly steady as new students enter and students who complete their IRPs are reintegrated home.
GA are looking to increase their resources such as books for the library for younger years, learn more on curriculum for readinesss for vocational/apprenticeship at a basic level, create partnerships to offer apprenticeship/employment and introduce income generating/cost reduction activities.
Monitoring & Evaluation
nitial, midterm and post-assessments are conducted in three funcational areas within rehabilitation in order to monitor individual and program performance. Chidlren are assessed initially to determine their academic need in English language, reading, and mathematics. If there is academic need present, the child is given an IEP for a specific number of days. The students are then assessed at the midpoint of their IEP and again at the end in order to determine if the academic goals were met. Assessments are also conducted at children's homes prior to and following placement throughout the life cycle of the child in our program (both at home and in school). Thereafter until the child is 18 years, Agape's social workers continue to visit and monitor progress
Implementation of IEPs began in August 2014. Since that time, 241 children have come into the program (188 males, 53 females). 127 males were assessed and 29% were determined to be at grade level while 67% showed academic deficiencies that required remedial support. The average length of time needed to meet these individual academic goals was 68 days. The remaining 4% of male students were too far behind academically to return to school after reintegration. 44 females were assessed and 47% were determined to be at grade level while 27% showed academic deficiencies that required remedial support. The average length of time needed to meet the female individual academic goals was 64 days. The remaining 26% of female students assessed were too far behind academically to return to school after reintegration.
Approximately 171 students have attended New Generation Academy since August 2014. A majority of these students were receiving direct instruction according to their individualized education plans. Students who were assessed at grade level were also enrolled in school at the appropriate level in order to maintain their academic skills as they worked through other departments in preparation to be reintegrated back home.