Empowering the Youth to care for the disadvantaged in their communities
We were able to visit another household and listen to their story. It’s a tragic account of how the loss of a parent can push a family who is already on the brink of poverty, into a desperate life.
This was the house for Saleh Kulundu who lived a few miles outside of Mumias, western Kenya. It’s in poor shape since he died over 10 years ago in a grisly attack just a few meters from here. Saleh had 2 wives and 6 children. One night back in 2002, a band of thugs came to this home and killed Saleh and his younger wife while they were sleeping in their house.
Although tragic in itself, this event has had a devastating effect on his children and his remaining wife, Phanice, who was now responsible for her co-wife’s children as well.
Without the income that her late husband brought from his job, Phanice and the children were left to make a living from the small piece of land that they normally plant maize and beans on. The harvest is not even enough to feed them throughout the year.
This has forced them to do manual work for other people to at least get some money to keep surviving. And survive is about all they’re able to do. They barely get enough food, have no money for medical expenses and the education of the children is in jeopardy.
Ishah (20) is the oldest and she was supported by a local charity to finish secondary school although she wants to continue to college.
Suleiman (17) is in form 2 but had to repeat a class since he lacked school fees. He has been allowed to continue school since he is a good volleyball player and has helped his school perform well. But now that the volleyball season is over, it is uncertain whether he will be allowed to continue.
Ibrahim (15) joined secondary school this January after being sponsored by an organisation who had promised to pay his school fees. However his dreams may have been shattered as he has just received a letter from the organisation withdrawing their support.
Yusuf (12), Sakina (8) and Ismail (6) are all in school but the pressures of paying for uniforms and other education costs make it a huge burden on their mother and the family.
This is a situation where the family is damaged but still intact. These aren’t orphans in the traditional sense but they are clearly in a very precarious situation where their future is littered with huge obstacles. Without a chance at education, all the vices of poverty are likely to get a grip on these children.