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Defying odds to learn

One of our older, original boys who lives on Doyle Farm is currently in Class 4 (Year 12) at school and hopes to go to university once he graduates. Abe is really upset about COVID-19 …

One of our older, original boys who lives on Doyle Farm is currently in Class 4 (Year 12) at school and hopes to go to university once he graduates.

Abe is really upset about COVID-19 as it means instead of completing his schooling in November he has to repeat his final year when schools reopen in January.

He has been with us since the first boys house opened over 6 years ago and is a quiet, studious young man with a story which will break your heart in two.

His early life set his brain into believing he was not good enough and his voice was unimportant. He is working really hard with our amazing team at Rafiki Mwema to change the way he sees himself.

Working hard to make a change

He recently shared his daily boarding school timetable with Anne-Marie, our Co-Founder and Director. She said she was surprised with his ability to learn in such a challenging environment.

“I am in shock at the long, long days and now understand his need to sleep, sleep, sleep when he gets home during the holidays,” she said.

“I am still trying to imagine how anyone can retain anything they learn in this environment.”

This is what Abe told her…

“Every morning I wake at 3:00 a.m. when the House Master turns on the lights. No one refuses to get up as punishments are physical and painful. We have an hour to prepare ourselves for the day ahead of us before arriving in our classrooms at 4:00 a.m.

“We study until 6am when we have an hour break for our breakfast. As you can imagine we are very hungry at that point, but the food at school is pretty light. Once we have finished breakfast we are back in the classroom where we work on our different subjects, with a break for lunch, until the class closes at 4:30 p.m. We then have a break where we take tea and wash our clothes ready for school the next day. I am usually tired already by this time, but the day is far from finished.

“We report back to class at 7:00 p.m. and we have an hour maths tuition before classes close for the day and we start our prep and individual study until 11:00 p.m. At that point I crawl to my bed and set my alarm for 4 hours later for my day to restart at 4:00 a.m. again the next morning.

“I love school as I know how important education is and I really want to be the best person I can be. Rafiki Mwema have invested in me and I want to show them that they invested wisely.

“Being at home for so long because of COVID-19 is very tough, partly because I have too much time for my head to remember the horrors of my childhood. I have recently started working to better understand the empty feelings I can often have. I find it hard to trust and am really sad that my one true friend left Rafiki Mwema recently and I feel very alone.

“This is a great place to live. The directors recognise that we boys can get bored very easily and for some of them they get a bit difficult to live with. I have only ever been in trouble once at Rafiki Mwema and it upset me so much.“In my talks with the staff I know that one day I will be able to let out all the built-up feelings I have inside and maybe I will show people how I feel inside. Maybe, but I’m not ready yet.”

Abe is a beautiful young man who is a wonderful role model for our Rafiki Mwema family. We can see it and we are working hard for him to see it too.

Without us, this young man would never have left the street and discovered his love of learning. We are so eternally grateful that you don’t turn your backs on these incredible children and hold their hands into their future.

Find out how you can help our African based childrens charity, Rafiki Mwema.


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