This is Jo Jo. He’s sniffing jet fuel. Jet fuel it doesn’t speed him up or help him fly. It slows him down and destroys his brain. Jo Jo is 14. This photo was taken by Christopher Mulenga when Jo Jo was living on the streets of Kitwe. He is now in the care of FOSC in Kitwe. He left home when he was 11 because his parents abused and beat him. He doesn’t want to go back. At the moment he is being taught and domesticated at the Kawama site of FOSC, in order to get him back to school. Thanks to the generosity of its donors Romilly is currently able to pay for half the salaries of FOSC.
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I like this photograph, which Christopher Mulenga has just sent me from Kitwe, in the Copperbelt of Zambia.They could be school boys anywhere. It’s one of those moments we all remember. You have been assembled in class not for lessons, there are no books, but to listen to some guest speaker or to hear some kind of announcement. It’s that moment when we waited for whatever we were to hear to begin. The speaker has not arrived or is fiddling with the projector. Some chat, some snooze, some joke, some daydream. But what I like about this picture is that all these boys are clean. Their skin, their hair, their clothes are clean. Yet not long ago they would have been living on the street. Their skin would have covered in dust, parasites, and sores. In Kitwe they would have slept out near open drains. These boys look happy. They are well fed. They are cared for.
Good job, all you generous Romilly supporters out there.
These children are at the Friends of the Street Children site Kawama, Kitwe, which Romilly helps to support. They are being prepared to re enter mainstream education, while Christopher Mulenga’s colleagues try to locate what remains of their families.
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After the soaking we have had, Devon is like a wet sponge in a puddle, but today, in the pale windy sunshine we have seen the first primrose of the year.
And Christopher Mulenga of Friends of Street Children in Kitwe writes to say,
“We are working very hard towards the improvement of our service delivery to the children. We have have currently 23 boys in the rehabilitation centre at Kawama (a record) and 14 girls in the rehabilitation centre at Cibusa. The government recently gave us a helping hand by giving us ten bunk beds, 20 mattresses, 40 blankets, 40 bags of mealie meal, 60 litres cooking oil and a sum of K10,000 rebased or K10m old currency.”
Christopher Mulenga of FOSC, Kitwe, Zambia, has sent me this photograph of boys from the shelter who have won a local dance competition.