ERIC CLINTON TESTIMONY - Pupil of Benards Vision School - Ahero Kenya
From the street to school It is nine years now since my life was changed to be good. I was staying with my grandmother, but things turned worse when she passed away. My mother then moved me to stay in Migori Town.
It was in the year 2004 when I came to discover that my mother was a cruel person, and fond of abuses that made me to question myself if she was really my real mother. During this time my mother lived as a single mother. I never saw my real father or heard of him up to date. During difficult times I could go out search for scraps (used metals sold to the jua kali industries) then use the money to buy clothes for myself because my mother couldn't do that.
Then came a day that I will never forget, it was one evening when my mother was from work, when she told me to go and look for my mother that she wasn't my mother. This hearted me so deeply that I had to live very early in the morning the next day.
This made a turning point in my life, I happen to have met a friend who also suffered the same experience. We could walk begging people for money in order to earn living. After a short while, the policemen were arresting children who were not going to school. When I heard the news I moved to Kisumu Town where I met several street children then became part of them. We could collect metals and sell, beg money and even collect food remains thrown away in dustbins so as to get food. Later, a friend introduced me to glue sniffing, but God came to my rescue because when I tasted it, I never liked it. This made me to quarrel with my friend on several occasions, hence our friendship had to break.
As I continued to live this kind of life, I kept on questioning myself on what kind of future I was headed for, I asked, “Now that I am just ten yeas old people can give me money, but what if I grow big none will be able to give me money, what will I really do, be a thief?” This came to my mind when I started seeing Street boys who were grown ups starting their own businesses like selling fake phones, while others involve themselves in nasty behaviors. I never liked the situation and this made me to have a second thought.
When still living in this condition, came a woman who could buy me food, and even gave me money with an idea of influencing me to go and stay with him, but I never accepted her offer without knowing that the Almighty God had a purpose for me and a person that he was to take me to.
All these kept on disturbing my mind, with no hope left in me came a follower of Jesus Christ, who could sometimes help the street children. He happen to have met me at around two o,o'clock pm and talked to me with a lot of sympathy and agreed to take me back to my mother. Following the problems I was passing through I accepted his offer very fast.
He then asked me to get into his car, took me to his house, gave me food which I ate as if I had never eaten before, took bath, gave me new clothes and even a place where I spent the night. The next day we started the journey to the Town where my mother was staying. Unfortunately we found when she had moved to another place, but by good luck we found a neighbor who could still reorganize me, then showed us the place.
We then drove to that place, fortunately enough my mother was there, we then moved out of the car and moved towards her. She welcomed us into a house where there wasn't chairs or even a table. It was a very sad day as I could listen to my own mother denying that I was not his son. She told Pastor and his wife that I was long dead and even attended my burial. I could not believe my ears as my mother continued to deny the fact that I was her son. Painful tears rolled down from my eyes as I returned to Pastor's car with complete loss of hope in life. Little did I know that pastor and his wife could offer to stay with me.
When we came back Pastor and his wife agreed to welcome me into their family and be part of them. After a couple of days he took me to his school where he was helping the orphans and assisted me to join. By then the school had reached class two, with three class rooms and about six qualified teachers. From then I came to realize that all wasn't gone. My life started to improve, I could eat, dress and get education just like other children. In class five I could read and write well, something that I never imagined of. I have to appreciate the fact that the school as improved from then, more classrooms have been built up to class seven, number of teachers who are qualified and compete as also increased, with children being given free school uniforms, books, shoes, breakfast and lunch. The hard work of teachers as made me to like teaching to an extend that I look to it as a future career.
Finally, I wish to thank God for the life of pastor and his family. I never thought of that kind of a person until I met pastor, it is my prayer that his name may appear in history as one of the people who God called to care for the orphans.
Letter from Billy Ochieng
My name is Billy Ochieng. I learn from Benard Vision School. I am a young boy. I am 12 year old. In school I work hard and this year I am in class 5. In school the teachers usually tell us to have good characters. During closing day the school uniform was changed and now we have been given, I am crying as my heart is shaking like the wall of Jeracho. May you help me to continue my education.
One night when I was sleeping a very funny nightmare came to me. An angel flew upon my bed and told me that the Lord has sent him to me that in school there are some boxes of shoes at the door of the school office. When I heard that I jump over the bed like a mad mouse.
After that day, I went to school in the morning. I found the office locked and some men lifting the boxes to the stove. In this afternoon I have a shining shirt like a cluster of stars and shorts with a maroon pull over. I also have the shoes that I dream at bed. That year we were given two pair of shoes and some exersize books. Help me until the end where I lie in my coffin. Goodbye this afternoon. May God be with you and bless you. Thanks!
Letter From Calvine Omondi
It is my pleasure to write for you this letter having hope in God that you are safely kept. I am also fine. I want to tell you that since this new year started I have seen a lot that the school has helped me with. On the opening day the school uniform was changed. We were told that everybody will not pay for the uniform. At first I had to doubt because the uniforms were so much costly.
Never the less, we were told by our school director & the school committee that we would be given a new pair of shoes, pair of socks, and a new sweater. One day as we sat in the class we were called by one of our teachers. We went to the office and the first thing I saw was the shiny shoes and the clothes. I had been given the uniform, I remembered what I had said to myself about the uniforms. I also said to myself that where there is a will there is also a way. I proposed what the wise man said that one good turn deserves another.
In addition to that, the school also provides for us free breakfast & lunch meals. It also saves energy. I used to treck from school to home searching for what to consume. Inspite of all, the school enables us to develop spiritually, mentally, and even how to take care of ourselves.