There are so many things I could tell you about walking around Nakuru town. It’s a busy colourful and bustling place with so many local traditions and sights, but also some real indicators that the area is encouraging tourists. There are several coffee shops which attract mainly European customers, which bring much needed income into the area.
But there is an unspoken downside of tourism. The streets of Nakuru need to be kept tourist friendly and apparently, we are very offended by the sight of small children living on the streets, and surviving by begging and stealing. Apparently, what we want is clean friendly folk to speak with us and apparently, we don’t care how they get rid of the street children, as long as our holiday isn’t interrupted by them being there.
Not true for me. I care deeply about what happens to these baby people. I care why they are on the streets and what we can do to help. I care that there is no support system for the most vulnerable, terrified and hated children in the world. I’m guessing as you are reading this then you care too.
There are wonderful organisations that support children who have had to turn to the street, ourselves included, but is it enough? I guess the answer is no, which is why this year I am hoping to get funding to set up a parent support programme that skills parents to change the cycle of abuse they may have experienced in their own childhood, and learn skills that may take them out of extreme poverty. It’s a huge ask and we can only start in a tiny puddle from the sea of abuse, poverty and fear that these children begin their lives.
We are so honoured working with the boys from town in our boy’s houses. We are honoured to see the absolute changes we can make using therapeutic parenting. We are so so fortunate to be alongside these courageous young men and have a glimpse into their pasts, so we can help them for their futures. Have we told you just how brilliantly the boys are doing?
One of our boys has joined high school. He is nearly 18 years old and has been with us 3 years. His mother has mental health difficulties and tried to murder her beautiful son. He ran to the streets where he was for several years. He missed so much schooling but when he came to us, he studied hard. He was one of the few boys who went out to school and he achieved really well in his class 8 exams. We think he is university material and we are supporting him in the best school we can afford.
Two of our boys have just started at beauty college. They have been with us 3 years and one year. They want to work in the beauty industry and have real flare.
One boy is out at school and doing his class 8 this year (VERY important in Kenya)
Our oldest boy is doing an apprentice to become a tour guide. This cheeky loveable young man is also learning Spanish so he can work with one of our directors. During the day he mentors and supports our small boys.
Another, very traumatised young man, has a flare for cooking. He has just started in a programme where he will learn interpersonal skills and then go into the hotel industry to learn his trade.
One of our boys is at college learning tailoring and about to join a residential programme.
We have 2 smart young men awaiting placements to be electricians and painter and decorators.
One young man is in a programme to prepare him to run his own business with a motorbike.
These are the scum of the streets that their society rejects and abuses. These are the very children that the government beats and abuses on the streets and hide from tourists. These are the kids that I was warned not to help. I was told they would rob and destroy me. It’s the total opposite. They have gifted me love, compassion, understanding and laughter. They are young men that make my heart smile. I want nothing from them, but they give me everything.
We have 6 new brothers
The boys on the streets were killing my heart. Their faces with eyes that eat into your flesh; Smiles designed to engage but not even touching the litmus paper behind their eyes; Clothes dirty, torn and of no recognisable colour. The joy of life wasn’t touching any part of them; their warm breath froze in the hostility of a world that saw them as vermin; the heat of their pain switched off in a barren street paved with abuse and fear. What to do.
I spoke with the boys in the houses. We had space in their hearts and we had space in our house. No-one knows better the lives these children are ‘living’ more than the boys whose steps they are walking in. The message was clear from staff and boys. Help them.
So with no fear about the experience but huge anxiety that we couldn’t bring all the boys home, we went to town. Now this is a different way of things happening. Normally we have a relationship with the boys we bring to our houses. They may have been part of our football programme or our feeding programme. This time they didn’t know us. We didn’t know them. How could we ‘choose’ and what gives us the right to play God with the lives of children.
We brought six little brothers into our family who will be committed through the courts in the next few days. They will be our responsibility now.
Let me be so clear – there are NO services that support these children. There are NO officials that visit the streets to check that these baby boys are safe. NO-ONE is there for them. There is no welfare state and no government run initiatives to take care of these children. Their safety is in numbers. Their safety is in violence or submission. Their safety is in the law of the streets where the strong survive; where you and your body maybe the only currency you have. There is no safety. The streets are not safe. They are frightening, violent and abusive. Policemen who patrol and attack and abuse these babies.
My body recoils and rejects these thoughts just like yours. But they are real. These are children just like your own; your nephews, nieces, siblings. But these are the children no-one wants to see. I can see, smell and hear them. I wish I didn’t. I wish my heart could harden to their pleads but it can’t and it shouldn’t. We all need to do what we can and I CAN help six more boys; tiny vulnerable drug addicted babies, to learn how to be loved and become a child again.
But I can’t do it without you. I can’t do it without our lovely Sarah who fights for every penny to run our projects for boys and girls. I can’t do it without you sponsoring, supporting and sharing our posts.
We need everything you can give for these and other vulnerable abandoned little souls, who bleed when they are cut but have no voice that can be heard. Their silent screams are the loudest in my heart.
Please, if you can, if you want to, please support us in supporting them