Can you imagine how 10 year old Stephen survived on the streets for a month? He’s just a child who needs his parents. But then Stephen opened his heart to Tumaini Kwa Watoto (TKW )team and shared his story. “My mother and my father separated and we moved to my grandmother’s place with my mother. I missed my dad. A friend encouraged me to join him on the streets where there was lots of money. We came to see the city but I soon realized that this was not a good place.” As we listened to Stephen, we planned a quick rescue before he got glued to the life on the streets.
One would say that Stephen is a hyperactive boy, possibly to cover his hurts or maybe he was just being a 10 year old. At home we met his supportive mother and a grandmother who usually take turns to take care of Stephen.
His mother said she works in a restaurant but she said little about his father only that he is working far away in Mombasa.
During reintegration she was very unhappy with Stephen and wondered what he would do next. She recalled the ordeals she had gone through while looking for him. “On realizing Stephen had gone missing I went to the Children’s Office at a nearby Police station to report because I was worried for my son.” She said. But she calmed down and together we agreed on a constructive way forward.
Stephen’s face brightened up on seeing his friends from TKW paying him a visit two weeks later. He had agreed to settle at home and report to school in class two. He was smartly dressed in his school uniform. His mother reported that she had experienced positive change in Stephen’s attitude – This is TRANSFORMATION IN PROGRESS. Stephen’s family is facing financial challenges and they are unable to pay Stephen’s school fees/requirements of 5500Kshs/£50 that need to be paid before the end of July when the term ends. He needs regular support as he settles back home. Stephen misses his dad and his support. What is a 10 year old to do?
These are some of the challenges that push the children to the streets – poverty, absentee fathers and upheaval that come with family breakdown, etc. We seek to get the child back to school and find a way to empower the family. Education sponsorship enables the child to return back to school while our equipping parents program seeks to put structures in place to support the family.
It costs £250 to rescue one child and monitor his progress for three months. Depending on the state of the family, many families need regular financial support up to 6 months. Your gift of £20 a month for six months will give this family regular income enabling them to meet their basic needs as they seek sustainability. Will you commit to partner with this family to keep Stephen off the streets and on to a bright future ahead?