A MESSAGE OF HOPE
“I ran away from “home” and went to live on the streets of Kisumu when I was ten. My parents had passed away 3 years before and I had gone to live with my aunt. My parents were not that rich and when they died they didn’t leave much behind. I was the first born in a family of 3. My two sisters, twins were around 5 when my mom passed, 6 months after my dad.
At my aunt’s place, I was treated like a slave. Life became unbearable for me and I just couldn’t take it anymore. The day I left, I had no idea where my destination would be. We were living in Nyakatch. I had never been to Kisumu, but I had heard of it severally and I knew it was a big city. In my head, I fantasized about getting a job as a shamba boy, make money and forget all my problems. I planned to come back and rescue my sisters. But those were just dreams.
I got to Kisumu after a long two-day walk: hungry and tired. I had no idea what to do next. There were no jobs. But at least I felt free, so I couldn’t go back to my aunt’s place where I constantly felt like a prisoner. I became a street boy. I met other kids on the streets, they had similar stories. Soon, I was eating from dust bins and begging from strangers. Before I knew it, I was addicted to drugs. I couldn’t go a day without sniffing glue. This was my new life, and I got used to it.
By the time I met Madam Eve, I was a fully-fledged Kisumu streets boy. I was in a gang. We were engaging in crime, pick pocketing, and snatching phones and money at the Kisumu stage. Life was tough, but I was now used to it. Madam Eve told me about her project of saving kids like me from the streets. She told me that I could have a better life and a brighter future, that I had a chance to go back to school.
At first I thought she was lying or she was a con, but I decided to try it. I came back with her here at Ebenezar Rehabilitation Centre. I saw all those children like me; some we had even met. They had food, they had good cloths and they were going to school. It was a very good place. I decided to stay.
However, two days later, my body was feeling very bad, I couldn’t stay without the drugs I was addicted to. I wanted them so bad, I had to run away and get the drugs. I stayed on the streets for a few weeks before they came looking for me again. Honestly, I wanted to go back but I felt guilty and I didn’t want to stop sniffing glue. I escaped a few more times but I always found my way back to the home. Madam Eve was sent by God. I really thank her for saving my life.”
The entire room had been in deaf silence as we listened to Jack (not his real name) go on with his story. Both his brothers at the home and the visiting maseno university school of medicine students we deeply moved. The upcoming doctors looked at the young man, now in form three with empathy and admiration as he narrated his experience and finally salvation by madam mary and the kibos children’s home.
Jack has great dreams, he hopes to become a teacher and plans to do his best and help other kids going through what he went through. He is no alone, Ebenezar Rehabilitation Centre is a home to close to 500 former street children who are now reformed and are pursuing education in different schools. some have finished school and are pursuing various careers all over the country. The home was started by the family of the late Arch Bishop Owiti and is now being run and managed by his daughter, who the children call mum since 1989. Ebenezer Rehabilitation Centre rescues children from the streets everyday and gives them hope by moulding them into resposible citizens.
The generous upcoming doctors from maseno university, led by the Christian fellowship leaders planned a visit to the home on the 28th July 2018. theDoctor had the privilege of accompanying the team to the home and followed the events closely.
Speaking to theDoctor, the chairperson of the Christian fellowship committee, Miss. Fauna Njoroge said that the event had been planned for no less than a month. She said that they had chosen to visit the Kibos Children’s home because of its good reputation and Christian virtues. By the use of proformers, they had managed to collect a total of ksh. 12,850 from medical students and doctors within Kisumu. They also managed to collect loads of donations, in terms of books, clothes, shoes food items and many other items.
The day was a big success. It was very fulfilling just seeing the smiles on the kids’ faces. That was priceless; and to think their lives were being wasted on the streets…. The medical students had one message for the kids: hope. Oscar Thomas, a fifth year medical student, and Olubayo Timothy drove the message home in the best way they could. Games were played, food was shared and the kids had their merry day. At least they knew that someone else also believed in them.
Madam Eve, on the other hand, could not hide her joy. She expressed her sincere gratitude to the medical students. She shared how hard it gets for her sometimes to provide for her children and that all kind of support was welcome with open arms. She thanked her visitors and made them promise to come again and again. …theDoctor hopes that they do return. May god bless them and all those who supported them abundantly.
By Nyadimu Festo