“My life was good before, I had a nice home, loving family, everything I wanted. But then my mother left and married another man, a foreigner. I want to go back to my real father and away from my mum and step-father. I’m much better off without their destructive influence.”
He was reunited with his father who was very excited to have his son back. However to make sure that the abusive mother does not come and destabilize David’s life again, his father reported the case to the children’s district officer who gave him the custody of his son. David’s father has remarried and they have two children younger than David. His step mother is a great woman and unlike many step parents, she welcomed him to their home and accepted him as her own son.
David’s emotional scars are healing. Through counseling and patience, he is making progress, now attending school and his grades are steadily increasing as he adjusts.
David recently ranked among top in his class. His willingness to participate in any activity or chore at home despite his traumatic childhood. David has been delivered and now smiles freely. “We will protect him here in our school now that his father has explained to us his case.” Said the head teacher of David’s new school.
This is a story of 12 year old David Tonito, who is carrying physical and emotional scars of his childhood. David grew up with his father and mother in the town of Magadi on the border of Kenya with Tanzania (where his dad still lives and works). He was 7 years, when his parents separated and his mother got married again to a man who has treated him horribly, physically and mentally abusing him, and not accepting him as his own. Tired of this pain, David left home early February 2015 in search of his real father, not even knowing if he was alive or dead. All he knew was that the man who fathered him lived near the border.
David was on the streets for 3 weeks moving from place to the city to another with a goal of begging to get enough money to travel to the border town to look for his father. During his fourth week, he was met by TKW team and David saw a savior. In a dismal mood, he why he was on the streets. He needed love and someone who cared enough for him. ”It would be easier to tell people my parents are dead because when I tell people that I don’t have any contact with my mother and my step-father they question the credibility of my story. Sometimes I have to respond with something like, “They aren’t very nice people”
David was finally rescued from the streets and though it was not possible to take him direct to his father, David remembered his aunt’s (father’s sister) place near the border town. She was grateful to receive David and promised to deliver him to his father.
David recounted painfully what led to his parents separating and him moving to another town with his abusive mother:-”Though my dad was absent during the week, I was assured of seeing him every weekend. My drunken mother physically disciplined us with a heavy cord. She always had a live in boyfriend who also had the nerve of physically abusing me at any opportunity when dad was not around.
After countless times, I finally got the courage to tell my dad what mother was involved in and also told my mother what her boyfriends were doing to us. In front of my dad she called me a liar and so I stopped telling. My dad finally found out the truth and this disintegrated our family. My dad went to the children’s officer and insisted that my mother leaves me under his custody but instead children’s officer did not allow my dad to take me like I begged for, I was stuck with my mother. We moved to the city with barely enough to eat and my mum blamed me for their separation.”
Against all odds, David is growing from the most challenging situations and is still progressing in all areas of his lives. As TKW team we say ‘we are eager to bring hope and change other lives like David’s’. Partnering with us will make the rescue and reintegration of more children with their families. To rescue one child and monitor his progress for three months, we need a gift of £250 or £20 a month or £5 a week for a year. Not every child on the streets is from a poor family…so next time you see a child on the streets, stop and chat with him.