Betty is a young girl aged 7 years old. Sadly she was abandoned by her mother when she was three months old leaving her in the care of her father who suffers from severe mental illness. Both Betty and her father have been living on the Kibarani Rubbish Dump where there are no houses and the only bedding is waste materials. The conditions are beyond comprehension to us but sadly this is home to many families in Mombasa.

Betty at her home on the rubbish tip

Last November Betty’s father took her to St Francis of Assisi School and begged the head teacher to give his daughter a chance to learn as she is an intelligent child. Since it was towards the end of the term the teachers allowed her to do KG2 exams because of her age and despite the fact that she had never been toschool before she managed to get such good grades that she joined KG3. In KG3 the teachers got concerned about her truant behavior ,some of Betty’s classmates explained to the staff that she spent most of her day trying to cope with her father’s illness whilst continuing to search for food or anything she could sell on the dump, the teachers realised quickly that they needed to intervene as they feared for her safety and welfare.

Betty at The Children's Court

St Francis School comes under the jurisdiction of St Patrick’s Parish in Bangla which is a slum in Mombasa, it is an oasis in the middle of chaos as it offers help to so many. They have a very active wing which deals with children in need and Nora Mwangi their Social Worker working along with Judy & Father Gabriel brought Betty’s plight to the attention of Changamwe Children’s Officer and asked for her to be committed to The Good Life Orphanage.

Betty arriving at The GLO 21:08:15

After the preparation of all the reports, Betty attended Tononoka Children’s Court where she was committed to The GLO on Friday 21st August, on arrival she was very quiet and withdrawn, living in the orphanage is a big difference from having to scavenge for food on a tip. Betty has been with us now for five days and she has settled in so quickly making friends with Gracie & Suomo. She was even part of Papa Kevin’s welcoming committee yesterday morning.

Happy to see Papa Kevin back

We know Betty will have underlying problems from her past eight year living in such harsh conditions but we have a very able team in Hemed & Lucy who will be onhand to assist Mama Jane in O’Malley House with any problems that come to the fore. We also have to thank Nora Mwangi from St Patrick’s Dispensary & the staff at St Francis of Assisi School for their quick actions in highlighting Betty’s dangerous situation. Betty will be starting St Bernadette Mary School on the 1st September and we look forward to her enjoying her days now as a child should without any hunger or insecurity and living in a loving environment where children are respected and cherished.

Betty & Suomo

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