from orphan child to adult

trying to earn a living
This is a new area we are exploring. We realized recently that, even though we would love for our (future) Resident MKKs to stay in our homes until they are able to stand on their own, by law, they cannot live in Maisha Kamili Children's Homes once they have turned 18.

We have 26 Community MKKs who are in primary or secondary school. One MKK will be 18 when he graduates from high school. Five will be 19, 12 will be 20, 4 will be 21, 3 will be 22, and 1 will be 24. We actually have 4 who would "age out" of a children's home before they even start high school.

Even if our Resident MKKs are out of high school when they turn 18, they will still need a safety net, so to speak. If a young adult can't get a good job or needs help setting up a budget so that they can live within their means, they have parents to help them. They can get help with paying a bill, guidance for managing their money, or even move back in with their parents if needed. Orphan children turn into vulnerable young adults. There are two things we need to do to give our MKKs the best start possible.

First, we need to teach life skills to our kids before they leave our care. They do have a "home ec" type class in high school, but as their caregivers, it will be up to us to make sure that they know how to manage their money, manage their time, clean their home and clothes, plan healthy meals and cook, and find a job that pays a living wage. This can be done day-to-day for our Resident MKKs. Both Resident and Community MKKs could benefit from life skills seminars during their breaks from school.

Second, they need a safety net. Maisha Kamili Transition Home will be a home for MKKs who are 18 and up and still in primary school, MKKs in boarding high school while they are on school breaks, and MKKs who are done with school and trying to get their feet under them, entering the workforce as young adults.

Currently, we have 1 18-year old who doesn't have a good place to stay during school breaks. He has a year and a half of high school left. Even if we had a children's home built, he would not be able to stay there. But if our family home was big enough to double as a transition home, he could stay with us.

Our current house is relatively spacious and would have plenty of room to accommodate guests, however, it is not big enough to house transitioners. We will have to move to a bigger place first, which will mean increasing our housing budget.