Flying matatu. Puppets. Pomp and color. Aspects that characterized the Nairobi Carnival. The first of its kind in Nairobi, Kenya held on the 14th April, 2018 at the Riruta stadium. It was aimed at creating awareness on the rights of children living in the streets.

It was a collaborative effort from the governmental, non- governmental organizations, members of the community and the VIP’s of the day youth and children from the different areas- Mutindwa, Kawangware and Ngong were present.

The day was aimed at giving millions of street children a voice. The procession kicked off at Riruta stadium traversing through Carwash area to Kivuli then to Satelite and finally culminating at the stadium.  This was an opportunity for members of the community to get to learn on the rights of street children who also got to showcase their talents.

Children and the youth living in the streets are vulnerable, marginalized and at risk. This year’s theme is driven on the four steps of equality; Commit to equality-recognize street children have the same rights as everyone else and reflect that in the law.

Protect every child –protect street children from violence and abuse and ensure children have access to justice when they are harmed.

Provide access to services-enable access to essential services as every other child, such as hospitals and schools so they can reach their full potential

Create new solutions-deliver specialized services and opportunities that tune into the unique needs, talents and challenges of life for street children.

Children following the proceedings of the carnival

This is aimed at sending a message to governments and non-governmental institutions to see the issue of street children is included in policy making. The UN Human Rights Council in Geneva has previously held discussions on the issue of children living in the streets from which certain actions need to be implemented such as listening to street children and adopting integrated approaches.

As the world marked international Day for Street Children the real change agents are each and every one of us who ensures that we upheld their rights and work towards making their lives better.