Not by accident
5 year old Thoko turns up at the Chisomo drop-in centre…
“Me and Moses were crossing the road and a big car hit him and the man took him to the hospital”, he says.
The Chisomo nurse and social worker quickly get themselves to the hospital to try and track him down. They find 10 year old Moses alone and semi-conscious in the public hospital, still wearing the filthy and blood-stained clothes from the accident.
He does not recognise them.
They ensure that he has the right treatment and medicines, find some drinks, soap and other essentials for him.Just the week before in a counseling session the social worker had asked Moses to draw a map of his village and where his house is located (versus having a street address!). He had already told her he has a mum and some young siblings at this village, very poor.
The social worker returns to the centre, finds the map and quickly organises to track down his mum. Amazingly the map is very accurate and she is able to locate the family in their thatched hut, obviously living in very deprived circumstances.
She fills the mum in and then accompanies her to the hospital to see the boy – will he still be conscious – will he still be alive?
By the end of the day Moses is a bit more awake and recognises his mum. She is overwhelmed, not having seen her young son for the last few months since he left home for the street. We pray for this unexpected reunion of mother and child – and that God will use this in their lives to bring healing and hope and a new future.
Moses has now recovered. The accident was a big wake-up call to the daily risks and dangers of street life. He decided he wanted to go home.
The social workers are now also counseling his mum and working with her to see how they can help her boost her income from selling a few sweet potatoes each day, so she can better care for her children and get them to school.
We believe that all things can work together for good – even a serious accident – to reunite a family and get one more child off the street. The children Chisomo work with need physical, emotional, and spiritual healing.
The staff team is dedicated to ensuring that children like Moses get home, back to school and get a new life with hope and a future. (names changed to protect identity of the child).
Grateful for the helpGrace, was 13 years old (name changed to protect identity) and came from a poor rural village several hours away from Lilongwe. She had done well to stay in school until Class 6 but her parents had already warned her that her school days were nearly over and her labour would soon be needed full-time on the family farm.
One day a man from the city came to the village and got talking to some of the girls near the school yard. He offered them good steady jobs as waitresses in a city restaurant – food, board and money!
“Wow – what a chance!” she thought, and decided to take up the offer – maybe she could even continue her schooling in the evenings, and send a few kwacha back to her family ….
On arrival to the outskirts of the city, reality hit her – this was no restaurant but a seedy bar selling locally brewed beer to sleazy men.
And now she was trapped – literally – locked in to the compound and forced to accept sexual advances from men 2 and 3 times her age.
Unbeknown to Grace, the Chisomo staff had recently held a “Trafficking in Persons” awareness campaign in the area. Some members of the local community heard about a new young girl at the bar and intervened, called the Chisomo staff to help rescue Grace from her plight, and reported the bar owner to the police.
After this traumatic experience Grace needed much care and counsel but slowly she has recovered from her ordeal.Thankfully, after counselling from the staff, her parents were also able to accept her back home. The staff worked with the family to look at options for boosting the family income.
Some extra goats were given to the family as a way of strengthening their economic situation and Grace is now back at school, much more wary of strangers and very grateful for the help she got from Chisomo.