On 23 February 2009, we were with Boni & Trixi for a conversation at the Youth Welfare Office, meanwhile the manager of another children's home joined. She brought a boy back because the management of the home had decided not to accommodate the boy. Before that he was at that home for 3 days already.
His name is Michael and he is 10 years old. The child service worker informed us about his sad history. For some years he was living together with his older brother with an aunt in Kisumu. Their parents died already several years ago. Michael and his older brother had to perform slave labor at the aunt's place and they got more slaps in the face than food. After his older brother left to attend a mission school, he could not stand it anymore and escape seemed to be the only solution. As stow away he traveled with the train from Kisumu to Mombasa. After begging in the streets of Mombasa for several weeks, he was picked up by a social worker and brought to the Youth Welfare Office in Kwale. After having heard this sad story, Gudrun and our social worker Cosmas decided to take Michael to the Nice-View-Children's-Village still on the same day.
July 2009: It is amazing how fast Michael, as a former street child, has settled in. Michael is caring and always ready to help. He has some difficulties to keep up with his schoolfellows, and likely should not have been put in class 5 already. We will discuss this with the school management and if necessary we will arrange he is downgraded.
November 2010: Michael was downgraded and he is now in class 6. However his school performance is still just fair. He argues a lot – also with us – and is always one of the first when singing and dancing. Michael is a member of the Nice View football team as well.
April 2012: Michael is now in class 7 and a good performer. However, he is quite temperamental what causes him at times to fail to comply with the school rules. Furthermore, he comes up from time to time with incredible stories, and we need to keep an eye on him. The cause for this can certainly be found in his past. Michael lived several years on the streets and has - according to himself - seen a lot of Kenya. Often he did not have a place to sleep and, therefore, he is very grateful that he has found a new home in Nice View. Michael enjoys reading and is the one that has borrowed most books from the school library.
Michael is politically very interested and engaged and was elected to represent the children in our district. As a consequence, he is since this year member of the children’s parliament in Nairobi. As members of the children’s parliament the children learn to take responsibility and to stand up. They learn to understand problems and to advocate their rights. Furthermore, an understanding of duties and values and mutual respect is provided, and they learn how to solve conflicts peacefully.
October 2013: Michael is now on a boarding school. He works hard but is somewhat behind due to the change from the international to the Kenya curriculum. Therefore, he was relegated to class 6.
July 2015: Already a while ago we went to look for Michael‘s older brother. In the course of it, suddenly a couple stood in front of the gate. They thought Michael would be their son. This was not the case, however, they could search out Michael’s biological parents, which were presumed to be dead.
Michael lived after the separation of his parents with his father. In 2004, his father was hospitalized and informed when he was discharged that Michael is with his maternal grandmother. However, when he called, he was told that Michael is not there.
His father reported him missing, but there was no sign of life up until now when he heard from Michael’s mother that Michael is in Nice View.
Upon request, Michael told his father that his mother and maternal grandmother told him that his father is not his biological father. Since he did not have a good relationship with his mother and grandmother, he ran away after that.
Michael‘s father, among others a Health Community Worker and Counsellor, has two more children. A girl (5 years younger as Michael) and a boy (17 years younger than Michael). His mother has with her 2nd husband another 2 children and is now married for the 3rd time.
Michael is according to his parents their firstborn and born in 1995 already. This means he is already 20 and not only 16 years old.
Our team in Kenya informed the Youth Welfare Office about the new developments and in consultation with his parents, Michael was committed to the care of his father and we are convinced that Michael is there in good hands.
Michael is still a part of the Nice View family and during school holidays always welcome. We will also continue financing his education.
January 2017: Unfortunately, Michael quit school in the meantime. Our team in Kenya and his parents were in contact (Kisumu where he lives now is more than 700 kilometres from Nice View) and his grandmother even involved an organisation that takes care of youths with problems. The organisation could convince Michael to go back to school, but sadly just for a short period of time. Heavily hearted it was therefore decided to support Michael not any longer. Especially since he was not willing to have a clarifying conversation.