Frequently Asked Questions
General Specific


1What work does Clean Start do?
Clean Start is a Kenyan organization founded in January 2015 by Teresa Njoroge, to provide a second chance to women and children leaving prison.
2What are Clean Start Objectives?
Clean Start achieves it vision of providing second chances to women and children leaving prison through the following high-level objectives:
i) Catalyze movement building on issues about the incarceration of women.
ii) Contribute to effecting systemic change within the Criminal Justice System that is responsive to the issues and needs of women and children.
ii) Service delivery to restore dignity, hope and facilitate successful reintegration.
3What is Clean Start Vision?
4What is Clean Start Mission?
5How can I support Clean Start?
Clean Start is founded on the goodwill, generosity, faith and loyalty of the community that we have built along our journey of growth. Some found us early in our journey and persevered with us, some joined us as we began laying our footprints along the path, and amplified our voice even as they catalyzed us to clearer horizons.
6Why does Clean Start work with women only?
The Clean Start movement: women for women by women is guided by 3 intertwined strategic objectives:
 Contribute to effecting systemic change within the Criminal Justice System that is responsive to the issues and needs of women and their children
 To catalyze movement building on issues about incarceration of women
 Service delivery to restore dignity, hope and facilitate successful reintegration
7What are some of the challenges Clean Start faces:
These challenges include:
 Societal stigma against formerly imprisoned women.
 Lack of implementation of the Bangkok Rules in prison and reintegration.
 Lack of political goodwill towards Alternative Dispute Resolution and non-custodial sentences for women.
 High unemployment rates in the country, formerly imprisoned women are not categorized as a marginalized group.


1Who started Clean Start?
Teresa Njoroge is the Founder and CEO of Clean Start.
2Why was Clean Start started?
Teresa served time between 2009 - 2011 at the Langata Women Maximum Security Prison accompanied by her then one-year-old daughter. Her first-hand experience of prison, the desperate plight of the women and girls she met behind bars and the revolving door of crime and poverty she witnessed inspired her to devote her life to the equipping, empowering and preparation of imprisoned women for the precarious journey of reintegration into society.
The increase of women expressing the same loneliness, hardships, stigma, bias and discrimination across community meant that there is a need to consolidate learning, increase of outreach activities while striving to access opportunities and occupational options for the formerly imprisoned women. ‘Support me in My Shoes’ was incorporated and registered as Clean Start in 2015 with the aim of providing a second chance to women and girls leaving prison. Since then, Clean Start has continued to grow in stature, attracting partners and, individual donors while desperately attempting to respond to diverse issues facing women in and out of prison.
3Why is Clean Start any different from other Organizations?
The formerly imprisoned woman is at the core of the Clean Start strategic framework, program design, development and implementation with progressive touch points with her children, family, and community.
4How do you Clean Start assist the beneficiaries they work with?
Clean Start beneficiaries are Women and Children Impacted by the Criminal Justice System through uphold, maintain and reinforce their dignity and giving them a second chance.
a) Halfway Programming: This is the provision of a safe, soft-landing that includes identification and pursuit of community support mechanisms, trauma healing and coping mechanisms for newly released women in the first six months. It focuses on re-orientation and re-footing of the women leaving prison, to the society out of prison.
b) Circles of Healing: These are social peer-led circles open to Imprisoned and formerly imprisoned women that provide a healing space, coping pathways, building resilience, connection and reconciliation support that results in the effective transition and reintegration required for the psychological and mental well- being of the women
5What age are the children who accompany their mothers to prison?
The Kenya Prisons Service has allowed children under four years to accompany their mothers to prison, where they are accorded relatively proper care. Although research has also shown that maintaining family bonds can help to ease the trauma on children, the prison experience causes immense psychological damage to them.
The “privilege” ends when the child reaches four years, when it is either taken in by a family member or a government-run children’s home. With this separation, children are less likely to attend school and are prone to engaging in crime.
6What are some of the activities Clean Start does for the children living in prison with their mothers:
Provide the children with the knowledge and information on their human rights and mitigation strategies when in conflict with the law. Advocate for children’s rights in the criminal justice system
7What are some of the activities Clean Start does for the children leaving prison after reaching four years:
Try and prepare the children for the outside world
Facilitate the reconciliation and support of the children and their family and offer family support speci¬fically to children of imprisoned women leaving prison.
8What are some of Clean Start achievements and action steps:
Having worked extensively with 4 prisons and 80 women over the last 3 years, Clean Start has built trust with the institutions, resulting in an acute understanding about the challenges that FIW face along with the issues from the perspective of the CJS. The Organization knows more about the level of support these women and their children need to thrive. CS is aware of the magnitude
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