At the very least Friends of Street Children (FSC) provide homeless, very vulnerable children with a respite from the abusive, filthy life of the street. Beyond this,
the aim is to reintegrate them with whatever remains of their families, and while these are being traced, get them back to school. School is one of the best ways to keep the children off the street, as well as equip them for life. Primary school fees are £12 and secondary school fees are £60 p.a per pupil at the time of writing. You can donate here.
In the picture above children pose in the classroom with teacher and administrator Meya Mbulo. Meya has dedicated her life to street children. No one who has seen her in action with the children on the streets of Kitwe can doubt her compassion, dedication and courage. Through thick and thin, and there have been some very thin times, she has soldiered on.
Benson’s parents died when he was five. His older sisters were left to care for him, but they didn’t….
They mistreated him, badly enough for him to take his chances on the street when he was seven years old. He was homeless in Mufulira for three months and then came to Kitwe, where he was also homeless. For a while he stayed with Friends of Street Children, leaving them for an orphanage run by the Catholic Church, from which he ran away. FSC street workers picked him up and lodged him at the FSC Kawama centre.
From the FSC Kawama centre he went daily to primary school, passed the national examinations with flying colours and was accepted by his secondary school, which he completed. This is a considerable achievement for someone who started life as a street child. Benson has always wanted to be a lawyer, so that he could defend street children, but until now he has not had the sponsorship to go to university. Since leaving school he has worked at the FSC Kawama centre, helping out with street children. He understands them and speaks their language. Throughout his life he has shown, resilience, intelligence, determination and courage. For his fellow street children he is a remarkable example.
Thanks to the generosity of Romilly’s supporters, her charity has been able to transfer £300 for Benson’s first term at teacher training college.
If you would like to donate in order to help fund the next term of Benson’s teacher training course you can do so here.
I learnt today that Debbie Case, the driving force, behind the Naivasha Children’s Shelter died peacefully in hospital during the night of 30th December.
Debbie had been diagnosed with cancer in June.
Having lost her own daughter in terrible circumstances she put an enormous amount of love and energy into the Naivasha Children’s Shelter, which was opened in 2003. It is safe to say that without all the work that she put into the shelter it would not have been the success that it has become and it would not have been as well established. She leaves it behind in great shape with wonderful staff and a lot of happy children. To the children it has cared for over the years the shelter she set up has been a life changer, in many cases a life saver. Well done Debbie. We will miss you.