YOUNG MUSLIM ASSOCIATION & GARISSA MUSLIM CHILDREN'S HOME
INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND
The Garissa Muslim Children's Home (presently
called Young Muslim Children’s Home), a project
of the Young Muslim Association is located at
Garissa town which is the Provincial Headquarter
of North Eastern Province of Kenya. Garissa is
about 380km to the East of Nairobi and shares
international borders with Somalia to the east
The region where the center is located is climatically categorized as Semi Arid.
The inhabitants are of Somali decent and are Nomadic pastoralist.
Their main occupation is livestock rearing and they move constantly from one
place to another in search of water and pasture.
There is also a small farming community along the River Tana in Garissa.
The area has low rainfall, which mostly falls in 2 seasons – May and November.
However, there is periodical failure of these seasonal rainfalls leading to
occasional dry spells and drought. Drought leads to death of animals and
displacement of human beings rendering them destitute.
This scenario creates a whole lot of poor people. It is estimated that
80% of the inhabitants are poor. They require constant interventions by
way of ration supply and basic needs such as water and health. Most of the
social services such as health, water and education are grossly inadequate
leading to perpetual state of backwardness in all these fields.
Historically, this region which was hitterto
referred to as NFD was a disputed territory to
which both Kenya and Somalia laid claim. The inhabitants
too were inclined towards seceding from Kenya
and joining Somalia during the pre-independence
and the earlier years of post independence (1963
This led to war between local insurgents (supported by Somalia) and the
Kenya Government. This war was referred to as “Shifta” wars.
These wars together with intermittent droughts led to the death of many
people and the displacement of many others. This created a huge lot of
orphans and destitute children who roamed in the streets of urban
centers where they believed they will survive.
Incidentally towns are referred to by the poor as (Miskeen koris)
a place where the poor can survive and the displaced children are
referred to as “Iskoris” (self rearing). These children depended
largely on leftovers and hand outs from willing helpers.