In October 2006 we met a young lad called Moses on the streets in Mombasa, he spent the day with us & appeared in the DVD we took to highlight the plight of the street children. The day we left the older street boys said we must have paid him some money so they demanded it, when he could not give them anything they beat him up breaking his arm & bruising his face badly. The following day three young Swedish students saw him & asked him what had happened. When he explained his plight they wanted to help him & took him back to their hotel to clean him up & feed him. They arranged for him to go to school paying £20.00 per month for his school fees, rent & food. Even though Moses was living on the street, he emailed us each week and we arranged to see him when we arrived in Mombasa this time. It was great to see him, his pristine school uniform from Moi Forces Academy Mombasa, such a change in just six months. Moses greeted us with his usual big smile & we went to Dormans for a burger. We were amazed at is school report ranking 28th out of 150 boys in his year. He then told us the story of how Moses, his brother & sister had been abandoned by his mother who has since died of AIDS.

Moses’ sister Sara is sixteen years old with a fourteen-month-old baby. He sends 50% of the money allocated for food by his sponsors to his sister and he was very worried about her circumstances. We said we would try to help so on Friday morning he set off with his £21.00 to bring his sister & the baby back. This journey takes eleven hours by bus to get there via Nairobi. He picked his sister & baby up and they travelled back overnight to Mombasa and arrived at 6.00am on Sunday morning. We met up with them at lunchtime & started talking about how we could help, they had not eaten since 10.00am Saturday morning but the unbelievable thing was the little baby never cried with hunger because he was so used to not having food. We bought them two bananas each & some milk. You never saw food been eaten as quickly in your life, we booked them into a “hotel” (Mombasa style) costing £5.00 for the night, and the room has a shower & fresh towels. They then went to buy some second hand clothes with £7.00 as Pastor Matheka agreed to interview her the following morning to assess her suitability to entering one of his halfway houses. It is hard to explain this, but the baby is 14mths old & has never worn nappies or pants so just goes to the toilet in the mothers arms or wherever so you can imagine the shower was badly needed, the baby appears very healthy & strong but people tell us that street children are immune to diseases that is why they are so strong in health.

Pastor Matheka along with his Dutch wife Ria are an unbelievable couple who spend all their time trying to rehabilitate streetchildren. They are very experienced and whilst they are strict, they are also very compassionate towards these children. He asked us to attend the assessment along with a couple from Co Mayo, Tom & Cliona, who were getting married in Mombasa a few days later. It was definitely a baptism of fire for Tom who had never experienced poverty on this scale before. As Tom said the livestock in Mayo have better living conditions than the children on the streets in Mombasa. Pastor Matheka said Sara had about a 70% chance of being rehabilated as it is more difficult for young girls. Tom & Cliona paid for both mother & baby to have a complete medical check and it is costing £35.00 per month to feed her & the baby, keep them at the home & provide the girl with some training and counseling. It is amazing what difference a few pounds can make to people over here, it is not the price of a meal at home. We hope & pray Sara & her baby will stay off the streets but we know it is a struggle as they are not used to the confines of a home. We will keep you updated on her progress.

Seeing the difference in Moses gives us the drive & inspiration to make our project a success, he craves knowledge & is a pleasure to spend time with. He is a very clever young man and it is just £20.00 per month has made his life different, he has now a goal to aim for, and we can help other children do the same, with your help

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