Kenya - Peter's new life
Growing up in the streets of Nairobi was a constant struggle for young Peter Kariuki, who never knew where his next meal was coming from, nor the luxury of clean clothes and education. Then, one day in 1993, a chance meeting with Scouts changed his life forever. While they were wandering around the streets of Nairobi, Peter and his friends were invited to share a meal in a nearby primary school and very soon a special bond developed between the two groups.
Peter was able to enrol in part of the Extension Programme of the Kenya Scouts Association. This helped Peter to go to the Muthurwa primary school as a student, and then to the Kiriani secondary school where he finished his studies in 2003. Thanks to Scouting, Peter learnt, and taught others, that the cycle of poverty can be broken. He even created his own Scout group at secondary school. It was this initiative that saw him become involved in a charity organisation called “Moving Mountains”, where he works with young street children and their families. In addition, Peter has helped to set up an orphanage in the district of Siaya.
Peter attributes everything he has achieved to meeting Scouts all that time ago. He encourages every child he meets, in particular those he meets at “Moving Mountains”, to join Scouting. He subscribes to the idea of helping disadvantaged children because he undertook to do so in the Scout Promise. When he is asked how he is able to manage all his commitments, Peter says that he always remembers what he learned in Scouting about time management. He is now the manager of a tour operator company called AfriCampus, which organises safaris and employs nine people full-time and several workers part-time. They, too, benefited from the Extension Programme.
The city of Nairobi has over 60,000 street children and up to now, the Kenya Scouts have enrolled more than 1,200 Scouts in the Extension Programme. Thirteen years on, Peter claims that Scouting saved his life, and that all the opportunities he has had so far, would not have been possible without it. He adds: “Scouting’s Extension Programme is a good example of the Movement’s true spirit”.