After 3 years Jack Otienotells his own story. “My name is Jack Otieno. I am 12 years old and a second born. I have 2 sisters and I live with my grandparents in Busia, Western Kenya. I met Tumaini Kwa Watoto [TKW] (Children of Hope) Team in 2011 when I was only 9 years old. We were then living with my mother in Kibera slum, Nairobi. The challenges at home made me walk the streets looking for food. This made things worse in my relationship with my mother. She would punish me harshly and at some point I felt like she was doing it because of hidden bitterness from her past. She separated with my father when I was 6 years and he re married…
Before their separation, my father was my good friend and I believe this is why my mother was angry with me. However my father betrayed me too. He used to drink heavily; left us and married another woman. He also stopped coming home and providing for us. This broke my heart and I blamed my mother for pushing my father away. At this time I decided to stay on the streets forever and never to go back home again, but God had His plans for me. He used the TKW team to rescue me from the streets, loved me and put me in a shelter called Bethany. (TKW’s halfway house) I was there for 3 months as they tried to reconcile me with my mother. I was given informal school at Bethany as they prepared me to join primary school.”
“After reconciliation with my mother, she agreed to relocate our family to my maternal grandparents’ home in Busia county-Western Kenya so that I could be away from the influence of negative city life. With TKW team’s help we packed our belongings and they facilitated our journey upcountry. My grandparents welcomed us warmly and gave us a room in the compound where we could settle as a family BUT little did I know that my mother had another hidden agenda – to drop me at my grandparents’ home and disappear with my younger sister. The following day my mother disagreed with my grandparents and this hastened her journey out of the home without me. We only hear that she went back to the city but this has not been confirmed!”
Tumaini Kwa Watoto (Children of Hope) Team: We’ve walked with Jack since his rescue from the streets 3 years ago. A soft spoken and shy Jack has had a tough life. He was born into extreme poverty to an abusive mother and a father who left his family. Jack’s family always had a roof over its head in the slum, but it was never home and Jack often found himself on the streets after being beaten by his mother who was bitter towards her husband.
Jack continues, “TKW team’s persistent follow up on me and their prayers have brought me this far. I was defenseless and prone to feelings of rejection. I wondered why my mother did this to me. My father too left me! Life here with my grandparents has not been easy but they love me and my teacher’s support has been very encouraging too. It has been 3 years since I last saw my mother and my younger sister but I have made great progress in my life especially academically. I was in preschool in 2011 but now I am in class 3 and one of the best in my class!”From a child who considered himself a victim, he has blossomed into a confident boy.
Dreaming of becoming a doctor: Jack has won his teachers over with his positive behavior despite many hardships. He is a boy destined for great things and with a dream of becoming a doctor one day, who or what could stop this diligent boy? Will you walk with Jack, from poverty to purpose. Come “walk another child home”. £250, or £20 a month for a year or £5 a week for a year will rescue one child and enable us to monitor his progress. Let’s see how many children we can rescue this Christmas. Give a child a chance in life.