The Children's Stories
These accounts were given by the children of their lives before they came to be in our care.
My names are Mary Kinya I donít know my age. I am in the street now for 1.5 years. My father died in 2009 leaving me and my older brother with my mother. My father died because of HIV Aids. After the death of my father my mother turned to be a drunkard. She could come at night and being so drunkard she did not bother to care for us. My mother was also an HIV Aids positive and she became very sick. In 2010 she also died and left me with my older brother. We decided to go to stay with our Aunt. At the beginning our Aunt was kind to us but after 6 months she changed and became hostile to us and started beating us every day. My brother ran away from my Auntís home in December 2010 because of the beatings and from that time I have never seen him again. I was left with my cruel aunt who was always quarrelling and beating me. One day in 2011 she beat me and sent me away from her home saying that I am eating her food for nothing because I am doing no work for her. Without knowing anywhere to go I decided to go to the streets.The life in the streets was the worst and very difficult but without anywhere to turn back I was to stay in this difficulty condition. I am now relying on my street boy friends to get food and for their protection at night from the big boys who force us girls to have sex with them.I and other street children eat leftovers from the dust-bins. Some nights I spend night without food when we have scarcity of it and again because we compete to get them Ė the stronger you are the more you can get from the dustbin. I always sleep in the streets and when it is cold we sleep in groups in the compost pits.
My names are Kevin Mugendi. I think I am ten years old. I have never seen my father. I and my mother were staying alone in a small rented house. My mother was employed as a bar maid and during the day she could leave me with our neighbour children to play. The neighbour was giving me food during the day together with her children. Unfortunately my mother was very sick and after the time went on she became very weak and unable to work. After all, my mother died. That was early 2011. After her death I stayed with our neighbour for a short time but she started quarrelling and beating me. Most of the times she would give me hard work which I am not able to do because of my age, but despite my age she beat me for not completing the work. Surprisingly she was not beating her children for the same. In April 2012 one day she came home very drunkard. She took a rope and tied my hands in a pole and started beating me, she beat me and left me there for the whole night my hands tied in a pole and with no food. In the morning she untied me and left me free. From that time I ran away from her home. I struggled to get a job but in vain. I then decided to join street childrenís life. I thought it could be easier but the big boys does not let us get food from the dustbins and I sleep with empty stomach. I was now to teach myself to get up early in the morning before the big boys so that I can go to the dustbins when they are still asleep. Life here is very difficulty. The big boys are beat me when they are annoyed or even where they have their own problem.
My name is Paulina (Poly) Kananu I am 8 years. My mother died when I was a small child as I am told. After her death my father married another wife. My step mother had two children with my father. Unfortunately my father became sick and after a short time he died. He left me with my stepmother who was always unkind to me she sometimes denied me food and I was to sleep hungry. After staying a while in my fatherís home she took her two children and went to be married. She left me with a neighbour where I stayed for a month. After one month she started to be cruel to me she was telling me to go and find where my mother went. One evening when I was washing the utensils one of the glasses fell down and was broken. She was furious, she beat me and chased me away at night. I pleaded with her but she could not hear. I had to ran away and spent the night in a nearby bush crying. In the morning I went back to her to plead more for forgiveness but she refused. She told me to accompany her she would show me where my mother works. After reaching Maua she told me to sit in a shade she will go to call my mother. She had told me my mother did not die as people say, she knows where she works. I waited for the whole afternoon without seeing anybody. From that day I have never seen her again. When the evening came I had nowhere to go and I donít know anybody. After all I had nothing else to do at night I had to join the children in the streets. I am now 9 months here in the street but I would very much like to go back home. This is not a place to stay because I always rely to one of the big girls who I call ďmotherĒ who protects me at night and who can give me some food when big children do not let me collect from the dustbin. The worst thing I see is that when girls go with boys I am very worried and fear of it. Sometimes the big boys beat me so that I can leave them with big girls.
John Gikundi's father died in 1996, leaving the boy under the care of his mother who also died in 1998. After the death of his mother, John went to live with his aunt. After a short stay in his aunt's home, the aunt started to mistreat the boy by giving him hard work which the boy was unable to complete. When John could not complete the work given to him, he was not given food that day. The aunt also started to beat the boy; so having no alternative, John ran away and joined the street life in April 1999.
Daniel Gikundi's father died after being beaten by thugs on a drinking spree. His mother also died, after which the boy was left under the care of his step-father. Daniel's step-father's wife was very bad and she started beating the boy when the husband was not at home. Daniel remembers that one evening he was heavily beaten and he had to spend the night in the bush; and from that day he vowed never to go back to that home again. He joined the street life.
After the death of Evelyn's mother, her father married another wife who hated Evelyn very much and she gave her difficult jobs to do at home. Whenever she was not able to complete these jobs she would not give her food. When her father came home late at night, Evelyn would tell him that she was hungry because she was not given any food all day. Her father would not pay attention to her complaints. Evelyn recalls that on the day she ran away from home she had not eaten any food for two days. She now lives by begging food and finding left-overs in the streets.
After the death of both parents of Winifred Kathambi was left under the care of her uncle. Her uncle's wife was very harsh and did not like Winifred to stay in their house. She expressed her hatred on a daily basis by beating Winifred and sometimes denying her food. Then Winifred decided to run away because of the mistreatment. She came to town and was given employment as a house-maid until she was expelled because of breaking a thermos. She then stayed in the town and lived by collecting and eating the left-over food which she found in dustbins mostly at night.
After the death of both parents of Juliet Makena was left with her grandmother who was very old. The grandmother died and Makena was left alone without anybody to care for her. She went to her uncle's home for help but was expelled from there. Makena had nowhere else to go but onto the streets looking for food and work. She was employed as a baby-sitter but she was expelled after three months with allegations that she was drinking the baby's milk in the day time. Again Makena was forced onto the streets, where she foraged for left-overs in dustbins at night.