Posts Tagged ‘Mathare’

By Moses Aboka

He entered the rehabilitation room silently and took a seat at the corner. Perhaps not wanting anyone to recognize his presence, but his over sized tattered jacket drew more attention than his deep innocent eyes. He seemed not to be moved or destructed by different kinds of noises that were coming from the other miracle boys. Instead, he would sneak a look, quickly pull out his bottle of glue and sniff it, then give a fake smile maybe because of the influence of the drug or because the boys made a very funny joke.

I was surprised to learn that this 11 yrs old fugitive had escaped from home to come and search for his biological father within the slums of Kawangware. He fled from home after his step- father tried to kill him, the scars at his body clearly explaining the kind of torture that he had undergone.  But how was this small kid going to trace his real father in Mathare slum with a population of about 500000 people? How was he going to find him, while before they separated he was still a toddler? But the fact that he had escaped from home, hopping on different on buses for a distance as long as  200 kms proved how determined he was.

When I asked him if he was ready to go back home instead of sleeping in the streets, he looked down and answered in a silent tone. “It’s better if I sleep in the street with my friends than be killed at home”. When FIKISHA got a street scholarship opportunity we considered him and since then, the results have been amazing. The joy and smile have slowly been returned to his face and his performance at school is above average.

Early this month we decided to trace back his family and re-integrate them.  This was after he had been away from home for close to 5 years.  None amongst us knew the exact direction to the place. Beside, we weren’t sure if we’ll be welcomed or kicked away.  My greatest fear was whether or not their family would release him to come back and continue with school. All in all, we decided to make the trip and inform them that their son was fine.

Group of mentors trying to locate Daniels* home

During our journey, we missed the route twice. On one occasion missing the main route by more than  5 kms, but by the grace of God we arrived and her mum was shocked to see him. She couldn’t believe that his son was back. After searching for him in almost all the possible places that she could think of, she loosed hope and thought that he had died. “Although I always thought that my son had died, I kept asking God to bring Daniel* safely home.” She repeatedly said with tears dropping down her face. To our amazement her mum could tell the exact time, date, month and year that he last saw him. She spoke with joy as if it had only happened hours ago. His small sisters were not sure who he was! They kept staring at him like a stranger. Later own when his dad joined us, her mum asked him to greet her son Daniel*.  And he asked “Daniel, Daniel which Daniel?”

One by one the neighbors strolled in, creating a celebration mood within the compound. No one could believe that Daniel* was back. Besides, they could not believe how big and healthy he was. We later own had a small talk with his family and agreed on few things, one of them being that FIKISHA will continue to support him through his education, while he’ll be visiting them when school closes.

Daniels* little sisters playing in front of their door

After having a cup of tea and mandazi together, we boarded our vehicle back to Nairobi, our heart filled with great joy and peace for the great reunion.

Thank you all for your support and prayers which enabled this to succeed.

Daniel – Not his real name