Monday, May 30, 2011

2 week holiday

We have 2 boys from Kabanana Patrick and Protasho staying with us for 2 weeks. This is a "holiday" for them, away from their home and an exteded time of schooling with Kat and crash course in English. (We don't speak Nyanja!)

Katryn recently mentioned these boys on her blog. These are the ones she tutors 3 times a week. Protasho is 14 and did not even know how to read or write or speak English. Patrick is 11. Kat is doing a great job teaching them and they are doing very well learning.

Their mom is a drunk, works at a bar and frequently brings men home with her.
Most recently, they had moved to a one room place and so now on occasion she kicks the boys out at night to sleep outside, without their blankets that we bought and gave to them, so that she can use them and entertain her men.

It is cold here at night now and to think of these boys being alone outside because of their mother's treatment of them is just not acceptable. She has been known also to leave and go out of town for a few weeks and leave them along at home without any food.

We had been thinking of occasionally having the sibling groups from different families of the kids we sponsor to come stay with us over a weekend or for a holiday so they can be part of a family and see how parents, siblings, etc are to interact with each other. We have a bedroom in the little house outside that we can use for hosting kids when we need to.

So we have these boys here for 2 weeks. We asked the mom for permission to have them come stay with us and she agreed.
So after this time, they will go back home. Then maybe later we will ask again and see if they can stay with someone else even, and we hope over time the mother gets used to the idea of them being gone and then will allow them to move into a more suitable living arrangements.

As James and I talked about them coming, I was concerned that they would be here 2 weeks, and then it would be harder for them to go home.
-To go from sleeping in a warm bed, to no bed.
(Can you imagine what it would be like at 11 and 14 to put on new pajamas and get under the covers and sleep in a bed for the very first time?)
-Eating 3 meals a day and snacks, back to maybe eating one meal a day.
-Having clean clothes to wear and being able to bathe properly to wearing the same dirty clothes for a week or more.
-Sitting down with the family to eat dinner, read the bible and pray together, reading books before bed and getting "tucked in", back to wandering around at night alone.

So what do you do?
I don't know.
We have similar problems with other kids we sponsor. What they need most is to get out from the home environments they are in and be in a more stable setting.
But whether the best option or not, we decided to give them a "break".
A "holiday" with a family.

New clothes for church

Patrick being silly

Brushing teeth

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