All three of these children are affected by parental alcoholism. Alcohol addiction is far from uncommon in Kibera as people struggle to cope with the hardship of living in extreme poverty. Unfortunately, drinking leaves little money for food and impaired ability to care for children. Alcoholism can destroy families and it is the innocent children who often suffer the most.
The rescue of Phanis and Rudolf
On September 29th, the decision was made for Rudolf and Phanis to live at Future Stars. This is not a decision that was taken lightly but it had become apparent that the children’s father was not able to safely care for them.
The rescue of Joseph
Today, October 14th, Joseph (who celebrates his fourth birthday on Wednesday) saw his father arrested.
Joseph’s father is a known alcoholic. Today he was noticed, by the police, heavily intoxicated. When searched, a quantity of the drug ‘bhang’ was found in his pockets and he was subsequently arrested.
There is no-one else at home to care for young Joseph so he has been brought to Future Stars where he will stay until the situation is resolved.
Obviously, Joseph is currently feeling lost and scared. House mother, Lorna, is helping him to settle at the centre and the other residential children are welcoming him but this has been a big day for a small boy.
Unlike Phanis and Rudolf, Joseph does not, as yet, have a sponsor. We are looking now for someone who will show that they care – someone who can make this scared little boy feel less alone in the world. Could that person be you?
What happens next?
For Phanis Semo and Rudolf Audele, the hope is that their father will combat his addiction and the children can return to his care, or that other family can be found to offer them a home. Until then, they will be safe and cared for with the other residential children of Future Stars.
Joseph’s future is even more uncertain. We will await the outcome of his father’s arrest before making any plans. Perhaps Joseph will be able to return home if his father is released and makes a commitment to tackle his alcohol addiction. Or maybe other family members will be found to care for him. As with Phanis and Rudolf, Future Stars will provide Joseph with a safe home for as long as he needs it.