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Life working with our boys

Life working with our boys who survive in town is a mixture of joy and fear. Many people are just not really ‘cut out’ for this work while others shine so very bright, we are …

Life working with our boys who survive in town is a mixture of joy and fear. Many people are just not really ‘cut out’ for this work while others shine so very bright, we are dazzled by them.

Today we had a training session with our outside staff, those who are not living-in the farm during lockdown. Today I heard a story that I want to share with you about why we know we have some of the best staff members in the world.

All our children are split into two groups; our older boys and our younger boys. This story comes from our young boys, boys as young as five or six years who have no family to care for them, no home to live in, no-one to check on them. They live in street families and they live a hard, violent, frightening life. Schooling doesn’t happen. Meals don’t happen. Violence at the hands of other street families and the police does. The government don’t support them; they chase them away when they become too many and they treat them like rats that plague the town. They are labelled dangerous and are often horse-whipped when they sleep, simply for being alive.

Their lives are tougher than you could ever imagine. Their lives are short and full of fear. They sniff glue to stop them from feeling the pain of being alone; the pain of sleeping on the cold wet streets during the rainy season; the pain of hunger; the pain of fear; the pain of losing any hope of love and help.

Rafiki Mwema came along when the world turned their backs. The community saw the street families as being carriers of COVID19, as ruining their business; they represented everything they feared about themselves, so they tried to drive them away.

Rafiki Mwema brought them a meal each day, a hot cooked meal that was so much more than food. It was a meal that said, ‘We see you’ It said, ‘We care’ and so much more. Through our daily feeding program with 80 children and young people who sleep rough and scared, relationships have been built and developed. Some are yet to feel real for our boys who fear and trust no-one. Everyday our amazing team turn up to play football; to hear their stories; to feed them and to care.

Yesterday one of our young boys arrived as always. His head was crawling with lice, so many that it seemed his hair had turned white. He walked towards Conci, who has been with the small boys so long they see her as their Mama. It could have been an obvious thing for her to move slightly away from him, for her to focus on his moving hair; to show him distaste or fear. But she didn’t. She sat down on the ground next to him and chatted to him about his day and how he was doing. She showed an interest in his life. And she, one by one, removed the lice on his head, crushed them between her fingers, and said that it seemed like it might be good to get his hair shaved. She was gentle and caring; she was loving and kind. This young boy was relaxed and had no shame. He trusted that he was accepted exactly as he was. And that was true.

In that moment, every single cent that you donate accumulated in our small boy feeling alive again. Feeling he was more than a target for abuse. That he was wanted. That he was loved.

That is priceless. Thank you for giving these unwanted children hope. Thank you for bringing their souls to life.

{We are still feeding the children in town everyday whilst funds allow.  If you would like to contribute towards this campaign you can do so via the donation form online and just mention in the comments it is for the feeding/football project in town}

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Rafiki Mwema Registered Charity
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