• Jeremy M. Sipe

Kevin's Story

This story is shared from our 'kid's profiles' page on our website.

The family name has been redacted for privacy

Kevin was born on the thirty-first of May, 2002. He has two younger siblings, Sharon and Victor. His father was married to two different women, was a heavy drinker, and very abusive to both the women and his children. Kevin's Mom was frequently beaten in front of the kids and their neighbors. No longer wanting to live under such circumstances, she left her family and ran to Nairobi, Kevin was nine at the time.

Life at home got more stringent for the kids. The step Mom beat them as well, starved them, and frequently told them to leave, just as their Mom had done. Kevin began doing small jobs to earn a living for himself and his siblings, but when the step Mom discovered what he was doing, she began to beat him more, claiming that he was undermining her, embarrassing her in front of their neighbors. Kevin finally decided to leave home, even though this meant leaving his younger siblings. He went first to his Grandmother's house in Tigoi, pleading for assistance, but she was unable to help. He resigned from there to make the journey to Eldoret to work as a cattle herder. For a long time, Kevin worked herding cattle for farmers without pay. They would give him one meal per day in the evenings and a place to sleep. Under these conditions, he found it best to look elsewhere, so he entered Eldoret town and soon found himself amongst the street families. It was wasn't long before he began sniffing glue and jet fuel, drinking alcohol, and smoking marijuana. Addiction had gotten hold of him.

During this time, the city council was performing raids amongst the street families, and the Police picked up Kevin. They arrested and charged him, placing him in the Eldoret Children's Remand Home (Juvenile Detention Center). He spent four months there. On the day of his release, he decided to return to his home. Upon arrival, instead of welcoming him home, his dad was gone, and his step Mom, furious. He discovered Sharon and Victor had also left home. He waited nearby for the return of his father, but when he arrived, the dad refused to recognize him, merely telling him to leave. Kevin was broken and only knew of one place to go: back to the streets of Eldoret.

Life in town was again tough as he looked for ways to survive. He found employment selling illegal moonshine and used the money he made to rent a house in Langas, which he shared with four other boys. The five of them also became peddlers of marijuana and glue, adding to their moonshine running venture. They also began to break into garages and homes, stealing anything they could sell in town, to use the money for their drug addiction. During another police raid, Kevin and one of his friends were arrested, taken to court, and prosecuted. He would spend another three months incarcerated, this time in the Eldoret Men's Prison. There, he was abused and molested.

Released from prison, he decided again to try returning home, only to meet the same hostility he had always known. Back to the streets, he went and found his comfort again in drugs and alcohol. He was arrested a third time but, for some reason, not charged. This was a turning point in Kevin's mind. He stopped selling drugs and began collecting items from trash bins that he could sell to recyclers. He left the street gang and began to look for some way to change his life honestly when someone told him about a feeding program for street families led by a Missionary; they said to look for Jeremy, Bilita, and Thomas, to find out how he could go. Through Gerard and Pastor Wilson, he found help getting to the Missionary's feeding program; that feeding program would forever change the course of his life.

Kevin is now dry and sober, learning to read and do basic maths, which he had never been taught before. He also works as a helper to a dog trainer for the Police. He is a leader in the Second Chance Rehabilitation Home, helping others in the community learn how to overcome difficult circumstances.

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