When I could not find him…James Mugambi, 11 years old
The journey was long, the road was dusty and the matatu (minibus) was overloaded. The team could not wait to arrive at James Mugambi’s home. They were anxious to find out what made the 11 years old boy leave home and travel over 350 km to an unknown place.
He was crying as a pastor from a church in Nairobi met him at the church gate. He still broke into tears as the team met with him at Kamukunji police station where the pastor had brought him. He said that his reason for going to the streets was his teacher who had abused him verbally and physically. He had then sent him home to bring his father to school. He was scared of his father and what he would do to him. And that is when he made a decision to run away from home. He had some money with him but he walked most of the journey.
After getting home, his father was specifically happy that his son was back home. He expressed “When I could not find him, I passed by our church to pray. Our pastor said that someone is going to bring our son home. I could not believe my eyes when I saw you coming with him” Said James Mugambi’s father.
James is back to school and the issue with his teacher was sorted. We thank God for saving the life of this young boy. Who knows what would have happened to him, in the city full of predators, ready to destroy, traffic or kill innocent boys!
My mother would understand me…
Paul Makau is in class seven but he had been on and off school. He was later transferred to a new school because the family thought he will not settle in the previous school due to pressure from both teachers and the pupils. The family did not share his history during reintegration with the TKW team but nonetheless they encouraged the family to enroll him back to school and urged Paul not to let his past negative behavior determine his course.
After first follow up, the team was given a positive report on Paul’s progress at home and in school. They also found out that Paul was in the streets due to his parents’ separation. He had been left under the care of his father who later remarried. This actually confirmed why Paul insisted that he wanted to go live his mother during rescue.
The family later had a meeting and Paul was left to live with his mother and taken to school. He is settling well at home and in his community.
Determined to do better
Alex Wambua:During our home visit he was not at home and was not in school but he was herding family cattle. He had been sent home for some money that was arrears from last year when he left school. The family needs to pay Kshs 4,000 for Alex to return back to school. Despite all these hurdles, Alex is settling well although his grandmother has observed that Alex’s father is very harsh toward him. The team did not meet with his father at that time but during the next follow up visit we hope to counsel his father on best ways of disciplining Alex. Alex has changed and has stopped hanging out at the shopping center. He is also going to church with other children in the family.
Alex started going to the streets through negative influence from his peers at the local shopping center. His grandmother found him in the midst of his friends smoking and because he feared his father, he ran away ending up in Nairobi where TKW team met and rescued him.