Family Restoration Stories: Shafiq
Shafiq's mom and dad never married, so when Fatuma gave birth to Shafiq she had no way to take care of him. She decided to find Shafiq's father and ask him to take care of their son. For the next 8 years Shafiq lived with his father and step-mother. In 2016, Shafiq's father suddenly showed up at Fatuma's door and dropped off Shafiq. After living with his mother for only 3 days, Shafiq went missing and the police picked him up and brought him back to Fatuma. Although Shafiq claimed he had gotten lost, a few weeks later he went missing again and a non-governmental organization found him and brought him back home. They enrolled Shafiq in school and he immediately began performing well. Within the first 2 weeks Shafiq was enrolled, it was time for the school's exams and Shafiq excelled.
His demeanor did not match his academics, however, and Fatuma began to notice that Shafiq was acting strange. Fatuma was advised to take Shafiq back to his father so that his behavior would improve, but shortly after Shafiq moved, his father sent Shafiq back with a letter for Fatuma. In the letter, Shafiq's father proclaimed that Shafiq could not be his son, explaining that no one with Shafiq's strange habits could possibly be his son. (Fatuma shared a copy of the letter with our social workers. You can imagine the pain the family felt hearing that Shafiq's father wants nothing to do with him after raising him for the first 8 years of his life). Within weeks of returning to his mother, Shafiq was no where to be found. Fatuma searched for him, but had no idea where he could be. She filed a missing person's report with the police, but never received news of her son. Follow-up between police and our social workers revealed reports that Shafiq's step-mother, whom he lived with for 8 years, had mistreated and even bewitched Shafiq. She would not feed him and while he lived with her and his biological father he began to steal food and cigarettes. His history of disappearing for days began under their care.
Shafiq goes Home.
In June 2018 we found Shafiq living in Kisenyi, Kampala, where he slept on the sidewalks or dirt streets each night and searched through rubbage pits for food. He lived on the street for nearly 3 years. When Shafiq expressed interest in returning home, our social workers asked him if he'd like us to try to make returning home a reality. Shafiq wanted to go home and moved to our transitional home in June. While there, at the age of 12, Shafiq gave up smoking and took on a whole new demeanor. The boy who used to fight for his survival on the streets began opening the door for others to get into the car before he would. And he was shown the love of Jesus and asked to become a believer.
After 2 months of counseling, rehabilitation, and adjustment to family life in his transitional home Shafiq and Fatuma were reunited! She welcomed him home with a meal and the local chairman (a town official) and their neighbors gathered around to catch a glimpse of the prodigal son returned!
Since their reunification, Fatuma and Shafiq have already been able to move to a nicer home and Shafiq is attending school again. Our social workers will continue to check up on Shafiq and his family throughout the year as he adjusts to being a kid, again, in his forever family!
There are 7,000 others still waiting on the streets of Kampala.
Family Restoration Stories: Ibra
You may have heard that, in honor of their birthdays, we're having a friendly competition to see which of our founders - Bucky or Julie Rogers - can raise the most money for our Transitional Homes. Our goal is $10,000 or one full year of Family Restoration operations. That may seem like a big goal for just 3 months, but it's just that important. Here's why:
Ibra Believed He was the Problem
For as long as he can remember, Ibra's mother and father have been separated and while he was young his father cared for him. When his father took a new wife, she refused to cook for Ibra and his siblings. Naturally, they told their father and, to their surprise, he immediately kicked their step-mother out of their home. Soon after, their father regretted his actions, knowing they were made in anger, and pleaded with his new wife to return.
Ibra believed that he was the problem; he was the cause of his step-mother's banishment. When Ibra heard that his step-mother might return, he fled out of fear that she might blame him for his father's actions and mistreat him. Ibra was only 10 years old.
Life on the Street
For the next 4 years of his life, Ibra was homeless and lived on the streets of Kampala - the capital of Uganda. Each day, he dug through rubbish pits for food and re-sold plastic bottles in front of street shops to try to earn money. At night he would sleep on the sidewalk and hide from policemen, ordered to arrest homeless children and send them to Reprimand "Rimand" Houses. Throughout the years, a few non-profits occasionally fed him, but none did anything to get him off of the streets.
If our Transitional Homes didn't exist,
Bucky Rogers, Benjamin House staff, and short-term missionaries