A friend called our attention to a case that was trending on social media after finding out that it came from one of our target areas. It was about children who were being physically abused after stealing maize from one of the community member’s farm. Responding to it, we went to the ground to answer the distress call.
The community was angry with the children because they came from a family that they had been occasionally supporting. The two boys are born amidst other five children. Their father is a gifted mechanic but was struggling with alcohol addiction while their mother, a casual laborer, was unwell at the time of this incident.
The family was living in a dilapidated single room made of mud that was full of holes. Their father often came home drunk and would use abusive language on anyone within the vicinity. Sometimes, he would abuse the mother in the presence of the children. Many times they went a whole day without a meal and sometimes they would eat something that is less than enough. They cooked in that small room and at night they would put off the fire and spread some sacks and pieces of clothes on the floor to sleep on.
Child right promoters in the area brought the attention of the community to the sorry state of the family house. The community was mobilized and constructed a three roomed house made of iron sheets and paid school fees for a sibling who is in a nearby secondary school. While the house didn’t have furniture, at least it was spacious for children and parents. The children underwent some counselling sessions while the mother was given parental advice on responsible parenting. Another mobilization for this family was done by the child right promoters and St. Martin staff to people from a different community and they agreed to furnish the house.
During a field monitoring visit, the mother expressed joy for the support that had been given by the child rights promoters and community in constructing a house for her family.
‘Thank you for restoring my dignity and that of my children, we now have a place to call home’.