Rather than holding an elaborate ceremony with his family and friends, Omari chose to celebrate his achievement with Nairobi street families where he donated food and clothes.
Drawing from his childhood years, the scholar explained to kenyagist.com, that he decided to have the ceremony along Kirinyaga Road to inspire the street families to pursue education.
“I dropped out of school. There is a time in life where I nearly ended up permanently living on the streets when I was a teenager, but a well-wisher took a chance on me and got me back on track,” he recalled.
In his early years, he used to live in Mathare slums earning Ksh3,000 as teacher of religion, Dr. Omari would later go back to school and complete his secondary education in an adult school commonly referred to as ‘ngumbaru school’ and sat for his KCSE which he passed and was able to proceed to the university.
Dr. Omari, who holds a PhD in religious studies, noted that his experience made him alive to the fact that the street children needed someone to listen to them.
“We hired counselors to advise them on their life paths. For the graduation ceremony, we wanted them to see that if someone can choose to change, it is possible for them to pass and they can be anyone they dream of being in society.
“We are trying to get those who want to go back to school,” he added.
The UoN lecturer disclosed that he had partnered with various institutions to provide for their transition back to school.
Kenya Institute of Foreign Languages and Professional Studies offered scholarships for those who want to learn technical courses such as mechanics and electrics as well.
At the same time, a publishing firm promised to provide books and stationery for the needy individuals during the period.
He added that they had done a survey in the area of all street children to understand their problems.
“We try to understand why they are living in the streets and those who are willing to go back to their homes, as well as those who want to go back to school” he noted.
According to the 2019 National Census, there are 46,639 people living and connected to the streets in Kenya.
â€œThe counties with the highest concentrations of street persons are Nairobi with 15, 337, Mombasa 7529, Kisumu 2,746, Uasin Gishu 2,147 and Nakuru 2,005.
“Most of the street persons were males at 72.4% and females at 27.6% majority being the youth at 45.3% followed by children at 33.8 and the older persons at 2.4%,” the report revealed.