NGO registration

some older street kids.
Before moving to Kenya, we started researching what we would need to file with the government to establish a children's home here. When we arrived, we were told by another children's home director that the process was more simple than we were anticipating. However, things have become more complicated than when she filed due to child trafficking and exploitation of children.

We knew about child trafficking, but we did not know about exploitation. Rodgers met with a lawyer a few weeks ago who told him what has changed and why. It used to be that an organization could simply find a location and file directly with the Children's Department - the local office governing charitable children's organizations. It was not necessary to actually be registered as an NGO in order to be registered as a children's home. That doesn't work anymore.

People were setting up children's homes as a scam. They would register their home with the Children's Department and have a few children placed there. During tourist season, they would take benevolent tourists to visit the homes, meet the children, and give donations. After the tourists were gone, the directors were closing the homes and sending the children out onto the streets.

Because they had no way to ensure a children's home was legitimate, the Children's Departments no longer register homes, unless it is a home belonging to an already-established NGO, which would be required to submit reports to the NGO Bureau regularly, and could be subject to spontaneous inspections. We had always intended to register as an NGO, but now we know that we absolutely have to.

The lawyer Rodgers met with told us he'd write our constitution for us and take care of the paperwork. If the NGO Bureau receives an application from a law office rather than a private citizen, they are more likely to take it seriously. We wrote our own constitution, to save some money, but delivered that with our application to the lawyer on Wednesday.

We have a 30 day wait. Then we should be called in for an interview with Kenya's CID who will make sure we aren't involved in child trafficking. We are praying our paperwork goes through without a hitch.