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The children of Africa. The story of Atoti Etirivae


The eyes are the window to the soul. We can say a lot about people just having looked into their eyes. The eyes can smile, cry, laugh and astonish by their beauty. They can sparkle playfully or pierce furiously. The magical shining is something that the eyes of every person in the world can do, but the most beautiful shining is the one of an innocent child. Thus, it pains us to see deep sorrow and frightening emptiness in children’s eyes, and that is exactly what we see in the eyes of neglected children. They have a very peculiar look in their eyes which can never be forgotten, no matter how hard we try.

Street kids… How many of them are out there! Famine, death or potation in families make little Africans flee from their homes in villages to towns in hope for finding some food there. They even search for it in trash cans or steal at marketplaces. These African kids look the same with their dirty shabby clothes and vacant looks, dreamy because of drugs. They are barefoot and shaking in the cold. The street is their home, and the ground is their bed, which sometimes gets slightly softened with grass or trash piles.

One could think that there’s no hope for better life for these lost little creatures, because no one cares about them. But is there anything or anyone hopeless for God? God has a plan and hope for every single soul, even for the one that seems to be lost completely.

We want to tell you a story of such a soul.

What a big smile

Atoti is a young African kid who comes from Turkana tribe, which dwells in a deserted area on a border with Kenya and South Sudan. The vegetation of this territory is very poor – there are only cactuses and some spiky grass. The climate here is very hot, ground – of sand and macadam – longs for the rain, and drinking water is almost impossible to find.

Atoti’s mother died when he was about 5 years old. Since then, he lived with his father and older brother. His father was an alcoholic. When drunk, he used to violently beat his own children. He often made them search for some booze for him, and if they failed to do so, he beat them again.

In the end, Atoti and his brother got tired of such living, and so they had to flee. They asked a bus driver to give them a free lift, and he helped them to get to Kitale. The boys had to become real street kids, with all that panhandling, drug abuse and thievery.

One day, at a church service for African kids, Ukrainian parson Gennady Mokhnenko with his team took Atoti to our mission house. It appeared that the boy was literally full of surprises. He was very reserved and even ate with a fork, which is almost unthinkable for his tribesmen. His behaviour made us forget that he had been living in the street. He was trying his best to impress us. Atoti was so afraid of returning to his previous life that he even hid behind us when other neglected children invited him to play with them. When we announced our family rules to him, having explained the true importance of following them, his humble, vigorous and thoughtful answer was that he would never violate them.

Atoti became a part of the family in January, 2013. His personality was evolving more and more every day of our joyful life together. Atoti has good leadership skills – we trust him with babysitting other children or organising something interesting for them. He’s really successful at school, and he also has a good ear for music.

We believe that God will watch over this boy while he becomes a real Christian and, maybe, a great man! 

Lunch time


Time to play



With nice toy



Author: Anastasia Klimenko

Published: 2014-05-27 18:34

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