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Is a child a gift of God or a side effect of carnal pleasures?

New kids

April 24th. It’s a very hot and sunny day. I’m parking at a dusty, broken road in Kitale. I've just turned off the engine when I hear someone knocking on the door and saying to me:

- Mzungu, nipe kumi bob qua tea! - Which means "White, give 10 shillings for tea!"

This is a phrase which we hear several times a day. I have already mentally prepared to answer that I do not give money because they buy glue and this kills and destroys their lives. But as I turn to the voices, my wish to say anything like that has disappeared.

Me with boys

Two boys are standing by my car, holding their hands. One of them is wearing a shirt torn from the bottom almost to the collar, and the other is dressed in a jacket three sizes larger than it should be. But the clothes are not yet soaked with the smell of local dumps. They still have clear, not muddy eyes and meaningful look. It is evident that they are new children in the street. I have not seen them before. The younger one has dropped his eyes. He is looking down. There is a visible trace of a tear on his cheek. He was crying some time ago, but there is still a long strip left as the cheeks were dirty and dusty. The other boy is a bit older. What surprised me was the way he was asking for money - not arrogantly - like other street children. Immediately the thought flashed in my head: "God, how have these kids happened to be in the street?"

- How long have you been living in the street? - I asked.

- For two weeks, – Answered the older.

- Where do you sleep?

They pointed to the space between the counters.

To find out the story of the children, we had to ask a passer-by to translate for us, as the kids could only speak Swahili. It turned out that the older boy’s father died and his mother found another partner. That man did not want to take care of the stepson. That is how Paul ended up in the street. What surprised me the most is the answer of the interpreter when I asked how the mother could leave her own child.

- I’ve told you, she married another man! - He replied, as if it was quite obvious. – Africans do not usually want to care about other people's children.

When I told the story of Paul to our local helpers, they had a similar response:

- Sure thing. This happens quite often when children are thrown away to make a new life for oneself. What is worse, some kids even get killed under such circumstances.

I can imagine how shocking it may sound to you, but these are the harsh realities of African life.

The younger boy’s name is Moses; his parents took him here all the way from Mombasa. His mother left him in our town and went back home. Simply dropped her child in the street!

We took the kids under our wing and settled them at our helper’s place for the time of school holidays.

Boys with new friends


Next month they are going to school that will be paid for by us. The boys will stay there, and we will surely come to see them again.

Author: Oksana Levinets

Published: 2014-05-02 18:53

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