|Kenya – “Bosco Boys” Project|
|RMG – Rescuing the young|
|RMG – World Day against child labour|
|RMG – Salesians and African children: “African Children’s Day”|
|31/8/2010 – Kenya – Bosco Boys are winners at the Kenya National Music Festival|
|Kenya – 25 years of “Don Bosco Boys Town”|
(ANS – Nairobi) – On the World Day against child labour and in this month dedicated by the African Union Organisation to the African Child, we present the story of George – abandoned and re-born.
George is the eldest of three children. His mother died when he was only three-years-old. He didn’t even remember her, but since her death he has had countless stepmothers. His father used to bring different “stepmothers” home and he didn’t like them and they often quarreled. They even beat him. His father too used to beat him a lot for every little mistake. There was always conflict at home.
When he was 14 years old he decided to run away from home. He did it to search for a better life and finally he ended up in the streets. He says life on the streets was much better than being at home. “I used to sleep in the streets or the verandas of the shops and wake up in the morning to go and hustle, pick up what ever I get to eat, to sell and then at night I would collect beer cans from bars and sell them, carry luggage for people, beg” says George. “Sometimes I could earn up to Sh500 and if one can use money wisely things can be right.” At night he would negotiate with the watchmen especially those guarding restaurants who would give him the remains of the food. He stayed on the streets for almost 3 months living that way.
George joined Don Bosco Boys, a project run by the Salesians of Don Bosco for street children in 2008, when a social worker and volunteers from Bosco Boys found him wandering aimlessly on the streets of Nairobi. Once in the house of Don Bosco his talents had a chance to be seen. He and a group of his colleagues at school took part in the Kenya National Music Festivals which is the biggest talent show in Kenya, and won the first prize in the folk dance category by performing a Bagisu folk dance from Uganda. They were also among 25 schools chosen to meet the President at the State House in Nairobi, a rare privilege. He now sees himself as a singer and he finds his inspiration in a famous Kenya singer Tony Nyadundo.
George is talented in singing, dancing, drumming, and even writing. “I have many visions and I have put them into categories. I want to study hard and become a lawyer and at the same time I want to nurture my talent and become a top musician.” While staying in Bosco Boys he has participated in many musical events. George now goes home during school holidays, but it was unbearable to stay home, so George made a big effort to get one of his brothers admitted to Bosco Boys.
George now is in standard eight, although he is already 18 years old. He says that life in Bosco Boys Nairobi has changed him positively. He has developed intellectually, spiritually and emotionally; especially he appreciates the fact that he is able to make use of his talents.