With less than 2 weeks to prepare, those living in the affected area were expected to gather what they could carry and find somewhere else to go. In addition, the order was for residents to demolish their own homes or face fines for not doing so.
On the route lay hundreds of homes plus shops, clinics, and schools. All were to be removed in a single day of destruction.
Outrage spread quickly.
Legal challenges were launched in an attempt to halt the demolition.
Major organisations eg. Amnesty International, held protests and marches.
Concern grew over the number of people who would be displaced, losing the majority of their possessions and any security they had built for their families.
The demolition was completed
Despite efforts from residents, NGOs, and international pressure groups, the route of the new link road was cleared.
Some left with only what they could carry. Many had no idea where they were going to go.
The devastation affected everyone from babies to the elderly and from shop owners to schoolchildren.
Future Stars is safe, but not unaffected
Future Stars Development Centre is not close to this area of demolition. The centre itself has been unaffected. However, the same can’t be said for some of the children who use the centre.
Today we introduce you to two boys who have been attending the primary school at Future Stars since January 2017. Meet Shadrack Ombongl and Obed Nyabwari, 14-year-old twins whose home was amongst those reduced to nothing.
A tragic story
Shadrack and Obed lived with their single mother. Their father was killed in a road accident, leaving their mother struggling to support the family alone.
The boys began school at Future Stars in January 2017 when it became clear that they would otherwise be unable to continue the education they had begun when their father was alive.
When their home was demolished, the little family became homeless and owned only what they could carry. Essentially, they were refugees without a war. With nowhere to stay in Kibera, the twins’ mother made the heartbreaking decision to leave Nairobi and return to rural Kenya – to a village where living costs are lower than in the slum.
A broken family
Shadrack and Obed were taken in by Future Stars to provide them with a safe place to stay and a chance to continue their education. Initially, it was hoped that their mother would be able to find a new home in Kibera and the family could be reunited. Whilst their mother continues to explore options for the family’s future, it is now looking unlikely that she will return to Nairobi.
A safe place
Rural Kenya provides limited opportunities for education and employment. By joining the residential children of Future Stars, Shadrack and Obed will have a chance to complete their education and build a stronger future for themselves and to provide for their mother.
It is extremely sad to see these two boys separated from their mother and having lost almost all of their, already minimal, possessions. Hopefully, the love and care at Future Stars will help to heal the pain and the twins will take full advantage of the opportunities open to them .