Street kids re-unite with with family

Tuesday 6 September 2016

 

Rabbeca and Mary have reason to be happy because they have been reunited with their grandparents after their parents abandoned them.Nine year old Rebecca and her thirteen year old sister Mary were abandoned by their father and step mother after their mother had earlier been divorced by their father.

The girls, together with their other two elder siblings were abandoned in a rented house in an area called Chilenje, in Lusaka.After failing to pay the rentals, they were eventually evicted from the house leading them to survive on the street through begging and scavenging.

 Mary and Rebecca’s parents divorced in 2012 and their father re-married immediately. Unfortunately, he had no job at the point of his second marriage and this exerted a lot of financial pressure on the family. Eventually, the father succumbed to the pressure and abandoned his family.

The four children remained with their step-mother for a while until she equally gave in to the pressure and abandoned the step children in December 2015.The landlord allowed the children to stay in the house for two weeks, while the children were waiting for their father to return. However, hunger crept into the household and led the children to resort to begging on the streets.

The two elder sisters disappeared while Rebecca and Mary were taken to the Department of Social welfare by the Landlord. Social Welfare in turn, referred the two children to Jesus Care’s Ministries for them to be offered shelter, food, and clothing while embarking on the family tracing programme.

The girls were able to stay at Jesus Care Ministries for only 5 months because the organization is a transit facility. After undergoing Family Tracing and counselling, the girls begun to inform the social workers where their grandparents were residing, leading the Social Workers into locating them.

The girls did not seem eager to re-unite with their grandparents because they seemed to have lost trust in adults after the experience with their parents.  The sisters then got counselled and were latter informed that their grandparents were looking forward to having them in their home.

Whilst at Jesus care, the girls were trained in investment skills and encouraged to join self-help groups once they were re-integrated into society. The girls have now settled in very well with their grandparents and are in the process of being re-enrolled into school.

“We now even have a room of our own. I wish we had come here earlier when our father left us. But one day I want to go and see my mother” said Mary.

The grandfather is a retired teacher currently involved in private teaching. He also has a shop in Lusaka town that he rents out as a source of income. The girls usually spend time with their grandmother (who is unwell) at home