Our at-risk pupils – 19 boys and 10 girls – live in two small adjacent properties that we rent to be their home. To be honest, with no windows, it’s not much better than a lock up garage. There is barely room to move around or store any of their things, which are minimal. One of our greatest needs is for a new home for all the children to be able to have more space and better living conditions… and we are exploring how we can build something suitable.
In spite of the overcrowding, the children are all delighted to be there! The boys are cared for by Pius, our welfare team manager, while welfare worker Rose looks after the girls.
The children are very involved in the running of the home, helping with cooking, washing clothes and keeping the home clean. They are encouraged to grow their own food, planting maize, beans and other vegetables. The holidays are used to teach the boys how to become fine adults and good fathers.
The girls are taught how to cook, clean floors, wash clothes, etc – all the domestic skills they will need when they are married.
According to custom they all go to bed about 10.30pm and rise at 5am. Every Saturday morning they all meet up for a Family Court where the children sort out any issues between them… with some help from the adults. They look forward to having meat and rice on Sundays because the rest of the week they have posho (maize flour porridge) and beans.