ENG       RUS  

African orphans: joy and aching pain


Sometimes African people’s lives deeply affect our consciousness. That is why seeing so many street children around we get very happy by every opportunity to help them. And when these children get to the orphanage, created by missionaries, our hearts rejoice for them, as they will receive the love, tenderness and care which they have not known until now. There is hope that children who grow in such an atmosphere can raise their kids with the same care that they felt themselves. But this cheerful picture is overshadowed by the question whether, in general, there is a need in orphanages. We see that many children, even with parents, are devoid of any care, tenderness and attention. Many orphans in Africa do not know the feeling of fullness or comfort, let alone the sense of being loved or cared by someone. And then we feel very aching pain as lots and lots of children experience suffering, deprivation and pain in their lives. We want to help them all so much!

Girls with missioners

Just the other day two sisters arrived to our children's home. They are the representatives of Turkana tribe, who were brought from the village of Kerio in the desert. The kids who were taken away from their home environment had typical long hunger bodies build (thin arms and legs; bloating) and jet black skin. They were very uncertain, with quite a frightened look. They were usual kids with unusual destiny for a "civilized" everyman. Still, their story was quite ordinary, repeated for many orphans of the desert.


Their mother, who had a biblical name Esther, left her native land of Turkana for the sake of her husband, who was Sudanese, a representative of the Topos tribe. Although the difference between these peoples is rather conventional - they share same culture and speak the same language - one live in Kenya and the other live in South Sudan. Close relationship did not prevent them from brutal fight with each other, which is another commonplace for Africa... There was a romantic beginning of the story but no happy ending: Esther, having given birth to two girls for her husband, and being pregnant with her third child, was forced to flee back to Kenya. As the new partner did not want to accept their last child, whom Esther was pregnant with, he tried to kill her. Here her grief was not over - she was ill with tuberculosis. In the desert, she had nobody to turn to for diagnosis and treatment; the symptoms spoke for themselves - chest pain and bloody cough. In a short time after the birth of her third child Esther died. The children remained in the care of their grandmother, who had no maternal instincts because of her addiction to alcohol. She practically did not care for them. After the death of their mother the youngest child also passed away. Their grandmother did not feed him. Even when the child got something to eat, the food was not apropratate for a baby’s stomach.

Our new girls

Alcohol killed their grandmother very quickly and the children didn’t even have a place to sleep at night. They were taken by a woman from the village who had quite low moral standards of behavior. She was involved in prostitution and also had alcohol addiction. Her kind act was not caused by humanity or compassion – the older girl did all the dirty work for her just to have a place to sleep and some leftovers of food. At that time Pamela, a wife of a local pastor, began to feed the younger girl. This woman with kind and open heart told us that if we did not take care of the children, she would have to take orphans into her family. I do not think that it is necessary to describe a poor and humble life of pastor’s family, who do not always have the opportunity to feed even their own children.


As a result of these tragic events two little girls – Timoy aged 7 and Mitumi aged 5 – were left alone without love and care. They survived thanks not to their grandmother, but to the compassionate neighbors in the village, who sometimes fed them. One of those neighbors, James Koropus, asked us to take the girls and told the story of how they had become orphans. The kids also had an aunt in Kerio who was 16 years old. She had run away from Sudan because of the war and wanted to continue her education in Kerio. She could not answer any questions about the family or other relatives of the orphans.


We had no other options but to take these poor African orphans into our orphanage. It should be mentioned that girls were absolutely not familiar with civilization. All their life had been spent under the blazing sun, surrounded by hot sand and very meager desert vegetation. Moreover, white people were absolute strangers for them with their queer speech, unusual appearance and clothes. Therefore, we can understand their frightened behavior – strangers, completely unknown and seemingly hostile environment and order. Immediately after arriving at the base in Kitale, their behavior resembled habits of wild-caught animals: they had hunted look and the instinct of self-preservation. Panic fear of bathroom, shower, and any hygiene procedures could be understood. Besides, the lack of necessary care affected their health – both girls were depleted and infected with intestinal parasites. They had cough and blisters all over their bodies. The younger kid had pus dripping from both ears for six months.

Such a difficult fate, but thank God, it is possible to have hope, even in a seemingly hopeless situation. Now the girls have a family that take care of them and love them. Fortunately, all the negative experience of their difficult life as orphans has remained in the past for them.

Author: Kirill Kuznetsov

Published: 2014-05-05 20:09

Related posts