Life has been hard right away from my childhood. I used to live with both of my parents. When I attained the age of six years, they took me to a nearby primary school, where I was enrolled in class one (1st grade). By then my father was a drunkard with no source of income and he was not able to pay my school fees. My mother worked as a casual laborer and with the little she earned, she bought us food and paid my fees. Sometimes when dad came home drunk, he would beat mum mercilessly, making her leave us and go back to her parents. We could starve of hunger because my dad never cared for us. Many times, I would run away from home and go to the streets, where after selling scrap metals and getting some little money, I could pay my school fees. The rest of the money would buy food for myself and my baby sister. After a long stay my mother would come back and join us.
One day when dad came home seriously drunk, he raised a quarrel with my mother that ended up in a serious fight. She packed up her belongings and swore never to return to that home again. I followed her with my sister. By then I was in class eight (8th grade). After doing my final examination, despite of all the problems I faced, I scored a total of 414 marks out of 500. Unfortunately, my mother had been ill for years and the sickness was to its climax. She could no longer work to feed us and by the end of that year she passed away. No one could pay my school fees and my dream of becoming a doctor began cascading away.
I then moved to the streets completely to support my family. Life was not easy there; we looked for leftovers in the garbage. People hated us and when we tried to beg them money they mocked us. The police arrested us claiming we were robbers and thieves. In order to get money, we sold scrap metals and plastics which earned us very little. I bought glue and other drugs with the little money I earned and the rest bought food for my young sister.
One day as we were resting in our compound, two men came to talk to us, whom I later learned were teachers. They explained to us how they could help us mold our future and invited us to their working place. The next day they explained to us more about the job they do and that the program they work for deals with street children. Later they provided us with lunch and asked us to be going daily. Some of the street children ignored the idea but I went there because I knew there was help.
Soon I was enrolled in the vocational class as the time for continuing with my education had gone. This was in June 2005. I was so happy because someone had come to my rescue. In this class where my life began changing positively. I stopped sniffing glue and abusing drugs. I quit the street and became a disciplined and responsible person who can be dependable. All this was because of the lessons we learned and the counseling we received from our teachers. It is also in the class where I changed my dreams of becoming a doctor to an electrician. I chose the profession because I love the job and it earns a lot of money. I am so grateful and happy with the program for providing us with tools, which makes the job easy to learn. I also appreciate the lunch it provides for us so that no one starves of hunger.
My future plans are to be a professional electrician and to own my own workshop, which would earn me a lot of money, and then I would help my younger sister and my father. I would also help my friends who are still in the streets because I love them so much. I am so determined that I am sure I will make it.
By Michael Muthoka David