These four boys were hopelessly lost on the streets, but they found hope as we began to address the issues that brought them to the streets. Let’s share part of their stories.
John Ngigi from Nyandarua says: “Life was too tough, I couldn’t take it anymore”
John is 14 years old and he should be preparing for KCPE this year. He says: Mine is a very long story but in a nutshell, I decide to leave our home because of some harsh conditions we were going through and I couldn’t take it anymore. To mention a few, my parents had bought a piece of land which we relocated to and settled. A few years later, the owner came and insisted he wanted his land back. Although my parents never gave it back, this destabilized our family of 9 children. My six older siblings decided to move out as they had finished school. They moved to different towns to look for casual jobs and 4 of them got their own families.
When these harsh conditions persisted at home, my brother and I decided to look for help from a children’s home in Naivasha town. The children’s home put us in school where my brother completed his primary education. He then got casual jobs and started a small business which enabled him to rent a room for himself as he continued growing his business. While at the center, I missed my brother and then the center management started neglecting the children and we began sleeping hungry.
With several other boys, we kept sneaking out of the center to Naivasha town to look for food and then we discovered we could even visit the capital city for greener pastures. We walked for two days till we reached the city where life was tough. We started doing some odd jobs until I was picked up by TKW team who gave me a place to stay for several days before taking me back home. At Bethany I received warmth and learnt new games. I am determined to go complete my primary education if I get an opportunity. I want to go live with my brother but continue visiting my parents.
Thomas Mokaya is 14 years old and comes from Kisii in Western Kenya. He says, “I never wanted to leave home but my two friends influenced me to travel with them to the city. This sounded as the best idea I have ever heard. Together with my two friends, we hid ourselves in the bus luggage cabin from Kisii to Nairobi. As the bus reached its destination, they opened the cabin and we took off but never knew where to go. That night we slept on the streets and on empty stomachs.
TKW team found me on the streets and took me to Bethany place where I stayed for several days before they accompanied me back home. At Bethany, I got a bed of my own and this reminded me of the joy of being at home. My feet were smelly and at Bethany there was plenty of water to clean myself. I was given new clean clothes ready to go back home. May God bless Tumaini Kwa Watoto, you have given me hope.”
13 year old Joshua Asiago is also from Kisii, Western Kenya, in class 6. “I went to the streets to escape abuse from my father. He physically abused my mother before she decided to leave him. My mother disappeared from home three years ago while I was in school and my sister and I missed her.
After my mother left we lived with my father while making occasional visits to my paternal grandparents. Then my father remarried and life became unbearable as he beat me for no reason at all. One day I was late from school, my father started beating me until I fainted.” Joshua recalls with tears in his eyes. When I got better I decided to join the streets”
I have been at Bethany for a few days which has made me feel the sense of family. I have eaten good food, had a warm bath, washed my clothes and slept in a bed again. I have made new friends and though I would not want to go back to my father’s place, I am looking forward to being with my paternal grandparents who I know would appreciate having me around. I look forward to going back to school too. Joshua aspires to be a pilot.
Daniel says: “My family often slept hungry and I had heard that there was plenty to eat on the streets and plenty of money. So without my family or uncle’s knowledge, I decided to join the streets thinking that I would get a job to pay for school fees as well as support my mother but unfortunately during the first two weeks on the streets I didn’t find a job.
Before 15 year old Daniel from Nakuru joined the streets he was living with his uncle who used to mistreat him. He had dropped out of school for two years before going out in search of casual jobs to support his single mother and his 2 younger siblings as well as get back to school.
I later met TKW team who were talking with other children and I stopped to listen. Later I talked with them, they believed in me and they said “can we get you out of the streets to a safer place for tonight then we accompany you home to your mother and talk to her”. They brought me to Bethany and it has been an awesome experience for me. The place is beautiful and I will always miss coming back here when I go back home. They gave me hope. Now, I desire to go back to school because I want to become a mechanic.”
After hearing Daniel’s story, we thought of many children who can’t wait to get out of school, but there are millions of children who would give anything just for an opportunity to go to school. Education is changing lives of many children in Kenya.Anthony received education sponsorship and he is now a medical doctor serving a community in Western Kenya. You can make a difference by sponsoring John Ngigi or one of these boys to get back to school!
As TKW team, we stand to fight for orphans and vulnerable children like these 4 boys. Bethany halfway house offers children a stop gap before going back home to their families. Will you join us to fight for these young lives and restore order to their families?