In early January 2018 Watu Kwa Watu has received to following message from the Headteacher of Starkid School and Rescue Centre (some information, including family name, have been changed for privacy protection):
Greetings! I would like to draw your attention to this woman and her children. Syoka family comes from Kitui County here in Kenya. Kitui is one of the driest parts of our country. Its no wonder a child may be born, grow and join school without having seen a maize cob! She recounts how they had lived under a tree for 2 years for lack of a shelter! That time, they would go look for any menial work in vain. They would end up boiling wild fruits to eat! She now has 4 daughters, Mueni 19yrs, Anne 16yrs, Purity std7 and Mbithe std2.
She had run away from her husband due to domestic violence. The husband would come home drunk and batter them. The children were not attending school properly then. The culmination of the violence was when the husband beat and killed the last born child. Since it was in the countryside, it was covered up but she knew she had to leave for their safety. She has been from one slum to another. Mueni was able to finish her high school. She was doing menial jobs for different people and schooling.
They came to Starkid hungry and homelss. Borrowing a place to sleep with four children has not been easy, the mother had said! Now, we have given the children a shelter and some uniforms and stationery to start schooling, the big girl is volunteering in our lower primary since she would like to be a teacher! At the moment noone can hire her as an untrained teacher in this era since its illegal in our Education system. Mother has been assisting in the Kitchen and sleeping in one of the classes, but this week we assisted her to get a room here in Githogoro slum.
This family needs help since the school is struggling with so many children in the Centre who lack a sponsor to put them through schooling and may be assist the mother to get a few house items. School fees per term for the three girls is 60,000/- (120,000/- per year). Mueni needs 70,000/- per year to join a teaching college.
I hope you can help us find some help for this family. Thank you!”
We have contacted immediately several friends of Watu Kwa Watu. Today all children are in school supported by two sponsors from Germany (Hansen Stiftung, and one private member of German community in Nairobi) and by one sponsor from Poland. Three younger daughters are in Starkid and live in its Rescue Centre (orphanage). The elder daughter studies in teachers college and stays in its dormitory.