Home NEWS County News Joy as Child Welfare Society reunites father with missing kin

Joy as Child Welfare Society reunites father with missing kin

The agency facilitates and provides alternative families for children in need of special care and protection through adoption, foster care, and guardianship


For months, Phillip Wado has lived in anguish following the mysterious disappearance of his wife and two children on the 14th of January 2023.

The fateful day started off just like any other. Mr Wado, with his wife Michelle Yolace, who was pregnant at the time, took breakfast as usual alongside their sons aged 5 and 1.5 years. Soon, he bid them goodbye, oblivious to the traumatic events that would follow.

Although his wife had been battling a mental illness, she had managed to raise the children safely.  Under the circumstances, there was no cause for alarm.

His nightmare began when he returned home that evening to an empty house. There was no one. Amid the panic, he frantically reached out to family, friends, and neighbours for help. Search for the missing Michelle and the kids was launched. Their efforts seemed futile as days turned into months, and there was no trace or clue about their whereabouts. The sheer imagination of what might have happened scared Wado the most.

Misery virtually defined his days as his once vibrant life had turned into despair, with little or nothing significant happening and practically at a standstill. He stopped working as he sought assistance from authorities.

Meanwhile, in March, it emerged that his wife had been admitted to Mbagathi Hospital after she went into labour.

Events surrounding the disappearance of Michelle and the boys started to become clear. The first-born son, Nicholas, then four years old, apparently was separated from his mother and was rescued from Nairobi Central Business District.

The second-born and Michelle lived in the streets until the day she went into labour and was rushed to a city hospital where her daughter now 10 months old was born.

A happy Wado with the daughter

The hospital reached out to the Child Welfare Society of Kenya (CWSK) as part of its emergency response to rescue children in distress. The society came for the boy, Biden, and as fate would have it, he was to be reunited with his elder brother Nicholas who had been placed in one of the organization’s temporary safe houses at Mama Ngina Children’s Home.

Months later, the society, in line with its mandate to trace families of lost children under its care through its reintegration programme, successfully located the children’s father in a rigorous process that culminated in the happy reunion on Thursday, this week, at the Starehe sub county children’s office in Nairobi.

“My children disappeared with their mother who has a health condition and was pregnant with our third child. I am grateful because today I have been reunited with my children. The children appear to have been well taken care of. They are healthy and the children are still learning. I am very happy and grateful to Child Welfare,” Wado said.

It is a heart-melting Christmas gift for the Wado family which most certainly looks forward to spending this festive season together. A cheerful Wado has assured that her wife’s condition is stable owing to a consistent treatment regimen every fortnight.

He has also enlisted the help of a nanny to ensure the wife spends quality time with the children.

” I do not want to burden my wife, I will employ a house help despite the financial constraints to keep watch over my wonderful family while am at work. I am happy and at rest after months of sleepless nights,” he said from his humble home in Jagwani area, Mathare, Kasarani.

Child Welfare has provided both material and psycho-social support to the family.

The agency facilitates and provides alternative families for children in need of special care and protection through adoption, foster care, and guardianship forming some of the core components in the Alternative Family Care Services.

The society that is currently tracing families for over 50 children maintains foster care is a temporary arrangement with the possibility of reunification as its desired objective.

Kadison Kiemo, a social worker with CWSK, says the process which can take even years to conclude includes DNA testing, and photo identification tests to ensure that the children are handed to their rightful parents who must sign commitment documents witnessed by authorities.

CWSK says it must also establish the environment is safe and enhances their well-being through interventions, programs, and services designed to assist them in settling back into their families and communities.

“The procedure of handing the babies to the parents has several steps. It is a long and tedious process to ensure that the children are handed to their rightful parents” Kiemo says.

“For children of less than three years of age and who can’t communicate or express themselves, we tend to do DNA tests for them and the individuals who are claiming them. We therefore certify that the children are going where they belong and to whom they belong. Older children go through a photo identification test” he adds.

The society also conducts follow-up activities after reunification, to ascertain the progress of the family.


CWSK has been providing shelter and safe houses to the rescued children who, for one reason or another, have not found alternative families and have to be placed in the children’s homes temporarily as reintegration back to homes or another alternative is sought.

The government agency established and gazetted in 1955 has nine homes across the country catering for at least 1,200 children per day and one transit center in Lodwar.

The Children Act of 2022 promotes placing children without families in alternative care arrangements like guardianship, foster care, and adoption to prevent child abuse and trafficking.

Photos by Jackson Mnyamwezi