Tuka’s* family lives in fear of not having enough food every day. His father has long ago succumbed to alcoholism. In a world where alcohol is less expensive to buy than water and fathers feel immense pressure and fear of starvation, alcoholism is a huge problem. Tuka’s father sends him out to the streets to beg. He is only 7 years old.
*Not his real name.
He begs for food, or for money to buy food. He is in dangerous situations, and usually he is alone. His mother is sick. Sometimes she joins him in the street to beg, but this day, she can barely move. As he is asking strangers to help him, his mother quietly dies at home. When Tuka arrives home, his father, drunk, flies into a rage. He blames the boy for his mother’s death. He chases him out of the house and tells him never to return. For awhile, Tuka wanders around. He’s learned enough about how to care for himself that he can manage.
Finally, he hears of a home that he can go and live where they will give him food, clean water, clothes, and a place to sleep. At first everything is fine. He feels happy and safe. Soon though, the house parents become abusive toward Tuka and the other children. The old feelings of insecurity and sadness begin to overtake him again. He runs away.
Later, he hears of another place. He hears that this place offers love, an education and that he can learn English. Maybe this can be a good place, he thinks. So, he goes.
He decides to trust and believe that this place will be different. He recognizes early on that he no longer needs to work to provide for his family or himself, but that he can get an education and have enough food to eat, a place to sleep and to be safe. This place is the Life Center. To date, Tuka and around 30 other children have found safety, security and a path to education and a good life. This place is special. It’s a safe refuge for those who come to live there. They have family for the first time ever.
They are happy and feel loved.
There are still many children who don’t have a forever family or even a place to sleep for the night. Will you give the gift of family to these children? A monthly gift of $83.00 provides a safe loving home for a child for 1 month.