The Street Kids of Nakuru!
Having spoken to many of the street children (also known as ‘street kids’) over the past few weeks, I have been taken-a-back by their over-whelming desire to go to school. They tell me that “going to school will help my future, and help me to get a job one day”.
Some sources tell me that the street children who get funded to go to school eventually drop-out, because of the stress it puts them under to succeed and conform. Others might attend school for one or two years, only to discover that “…their funders forget about them” and cannot continue. Despite this dreary reality, there are success stories too. It is, however, disappointing that many of the children I have spoken to rely on funders to pay for their uniforms, utensils, and curricular activities in order to receive an education.
The kids tell me that because they are under the age eighteen they cannot work, and therefore resort to begging for clothes, money and food (as a means of survival). Out of curiosity and concern, I asked them where their parents are? and each of them tell me that their parents have died. Consequently, the children make a family of their own amongst each other. There is a close bond between many of the children and whatever little they have; they share.
In the past, myself and the children have spoken about the importance of ‘hope’ in one’s life and occasionally I find myself silently praying that God will help them (in some way). I often experience difficulty conjuring the right words to say during our in-depth discussions, and want to impart some words of wisdom. This never happens. Instead, I find myself listening to them talk about their families; the food they like to eat; and their day-to-day activities. In these instances, listening speaks louder than words.
Despite their troubles, they always approach me with a smile on their face and cheery story to tell me. Occasionally I see the boys dancing to the music that the boda-boda drivers play. Other times, I find myself singing ‘…you are my sunshine, my only sunshine. You make me happy when skies are grey…’ with one of the younger kids. He tells me that it is his ‘…favourite English song’.
What is clear to me, is that the kids display a great deal of strength that comes from their past experiences. Despite their struggles, the kids hope for better days and remain optimistic about their future. They are AMAZING, and inspire me in so many ways!!!!
Written By Eloise Cromwell, 2013 Fellow