JUSTICE                                 "But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream."
    The motto of the Mudzini Kwetu Trust is "For Children - Justice and Welfare", so the Centre does a lot of advocacy and provides legal services for orphans in the Kilifi District. Cariad Kenya endorses these aims and is one of only a few children's charities that support Justice for the child, as well as Welfare and Education. The children taken into the home come through the local Children's Department and they often need legal representation. The demand for the Centre to take on more children is unending and so Anthony, with the Mudzini staff, and the Children's Officer, try to resettle children who could go back to a relative so that they utilise space for those who are destitute. It is important to know that as supporters you are not only touching the lives of children at Mudzini but also those that they re-settle, or advocate for, and respond to their legal needs through courts and police services.

    Here are some stories of how Mudzini, over the years, has helped obtain Justice for children: It has been necessary to change some of the names: Click on a title to read each story.
                     How Girls Suffer; Justice for a Child; Disappointment; A Desperate Plight;
    Life is Cheap

    How Girls Suffer
    We met Habiba who had just arrived at the home She had been abused by her aunty who had threatened her with a knife and denied her food. Many neglected girls are taken in by members of their extended families and used as servants. We also saw the home Habiba had come from, it was no more than a tin shed and made our garage look like a palace!  We actually went to the law courts where her case was being heard.  Much of Anthony’s work is making sure there is justice for all children who have been neglected and abused.
    We also visited a very simple dirt-floored shack in the slum area of Shanzu, where a 16-year-old boy was caring for his mentally sick mother and three sisters.  We were taken there by Anthony, June (the children’s worker) and the elder of the village.  It was a really sad case. The 12-year-old sister had been sexually abused and was pregnant (the home will look after the new baby). Sexual exploitation is a big problem because exploiters feel safer from prosecution in developing countries.  This is because of poverty, unemployment and corruption.  You can understand why girls in particular are very vulnerable and need help.
    However, back at the Mudzini Kwetu home, the children are in a wonderful, safe environment, where there is love and support. The children feel valued and have aspirations for the future, living in a big family where they have a great feeling of hope.  We are so impressed at the values and skills being instilled into these children to help them learn to lead successful adult lives.  The older girls all have a younger child to look after.  There is not often time for play; that’s just the way it is in Africa . There are chores to be done and they all take their turn in doing the cooking, cleaning and washing. 
    Geraint and Margaret Stephens

    Justice for a Child
    Last week we got a call from some friends working with World Vision in a very remote place in Kilifi called Bamba. They had to some extent rescued a child who was being seriously physically abused by a powerful employer. The 8 year old boy lived with his grandfather after the parents died and because the grandfather could not provide adequately, found him some employment with a former local chief to work as a house boy.
    Eva of World Vision came to his rescue after the chief accused the boy of stealing a match box worth Ksh 3 and was beating him to the extent that he had cut his left ear off. The villagers who heard the boy screaming could do nothing since the perpetrator commands a lot of respect with authorities in the area.
    The grandfather tried to rescue him before his ear was cut off but the former chief demanded 2 goats (worth about Ksh 3000/=) or else cut off the boy’s ear. Things are changing but as it was, area chiefs commanded a lot of power and were known to grossly abuse them (There is a long history as to why that was). Eva who happened to be passing in the area heard the screams and went to the boy’s rescue but sadly after the ear had already been cut off. She rushed the boy to a clinic and reported to the police.
    Unfortunately, the police have done nothing 3 weeks after she had reported the incident and she has information that they have been compromised not to prosecute the perpetrator. Again, historically, it is known that nothing can happen when the police are compromised unless the media or a lawyer takes interest in the case and follows it up from the police station.
    Eva called me and asked if we could get involved. I managed to get Alice and Sam and we should be proceeding to Bamba police station this afternoon. The purpose is to get the police to arrest the perpetrator and institute legal proceedings.
    The case of the boy whose ear was cut off was taken up by the police after Anthony and Sam followed up the incident. The police arrested the perpetrator, who is a former chief. He was charged three days later and the case, which is criminal, is ongoing. Sam is preparing to serve the defendant with a notice to sue to compensate the boy.
    There is more happening but the above is just a glimpse into the various other work that Cariad Kenya members and supporters are doing apart from the parental responsibility they have with the children resident at Mudzini
    Anthony Mulongo.

    Disappointment
    The past month has been difficult for the staff here and a real challenge to the work we do. Zee exhibited changed behaviour after we wrote an initial report when she was placed in our care by the District Office.She attended several counseling sessions and we kept vigil with lotsof talks through staff, trustees and friends. At one time we all celebrated the ultimate display of her changed behaviour when she attributed it to having become a Christian. The joy of seeing her meek and gentle character, always willing to serve others and to listen to correction positively brought much fulfilment to everyone who worked with her. She simply has been very well behaved the past year up until a month ago. 
    It has been a struggle trying to contain her in that month. She has been very unpredictable and the anxiety of her escaping from school or doing something to injure the character of the others has been the real strain. It became evident that she was not coping with the other children especially the older ones and she was always quarrelling with them over small issues. 
    As you all know the children passionately guard their newly earned profile and dignity and proudly protect their Mudzini family name in school and in public. Some of you are familiar with the situation at which, abandoned, street, poor or orphaned children generally suffer ridicule from the economically well to do members of society and terms like “Chokora” (Garbage scavenger) which are used to identify and insinuate that such children do not belong to the civilised world are continually used to stigmatise and remind them that they are second class human beings.
    The respect and name that Mudzini commands with local government authorities and civil community has been the pride of the children and they proudly use it at school to show that they are indeed acceptable human beings and children like any other. The idea of bad behaviour being witnessed around them and used to stereotype them is unacceptable among them and they rightfully claim their changed behaviour and attribute it to the love they have through the various sacrifices of loving people used to give them hope. 
    We have witnessed them lovingly and patiently correcting and teaching new children that join the orphanage and at first we were unable to comprehend why they found it difficult to cope with Zee whom as they say “has not even experienced half of the hard street life that some of us have”. 
    About 3 weeks after Zee had started becoming difficult,  the children came home from school and stated that something has to be done about Zee or else they would discipline her themselves. Their prior concerns had been treated by asking them to continue to be patient with her while more counselling is sought through everyone including some among themselves. 
    Zee had started stealing, using unacceptable language, outrightly disobeying adults, refusing to go to school and lying to teachers in the school about her absence from school, all which was angering the other children but especially being rude, refusing school and lying.
    We did all we could but Zee insisted that she wanted to go and live with her “Step father” (the boyfriend- Ben - 48yrs). We later found out that Ben was using someone to communicate with Zee in school, usually at break time or lunch time. We finally decided to have the District Children’s Officer talk with Zee but Zee was unmoved even after promising the officer to return to school.
    A week after the talk the officer decided to have Zee committed to the government rehabilitation home since she was not improving (this is usually taken as the last resort because the home is poorly managed with minimum resources and sometimes children come out more hardened than they were- however, with chance, a child may reform).
    On Monday last week, Zee was committed by the Kilifi children’s Court to the remand home in Malindi and shall be transferred to the rehabilitation home in Kiambu. Alice pleaded that the court commits her for a period of 1 year as opposed to the usual 3 years. The order shall be reviewed after a year and if there is progress she then could be brought back home to Mudzini.
    I pray that this is not distressing news to you and encourage you with the fact that we only do that which God enables us to do and share in His work; the rest is within His hands. The joy that all the children have is a testimony that God is at work in us and the love that you provide has changed the lives of not only the 30 children at Mudzini but hundreds of others that Mudzini works with through the courts, children’s department and the poor villages.
    Catherine Julius

    A Desperate
    Plight
    Adilah was born to a single mother (Bonde) who is barely eighteen years of age. Bonde, an orphan was staying with her grandmother struggling to eke out a living, when a man pretending to care for her needs lured her into having an affair with him. Naïve, ignorant and desperate to survive, Bonde fell into this man’s trap, got pregnant, and Adilah was born into utter poverty. The father disappeared into thin air and to date no one knows his whereabouts.
    With no food at home, no job and with an extra mouth to feed at a time that money was so scarce, Bonde got desperate. So desperate was she that when another man proposed marriage to her she welcomed the idea with both hands. She got married hoping that her needs and those of her baby would be met. Little did Bonde know that she was adding salt to injury. Another baby was born but the new husband hated Adilah so intensely that the mother feared for her life. It is this fear that led her into escaping to Mombasa with her children.
    A 'Good Samaritan' offered her accommodation while Bonde looked into getting a job. She did get a casual job, doing household chores for people for a minimal fee which helped them to buy food and take care of other small needs. Meanwhile the younger baby was taken to the father who wanted to take care of her.  Life was beginning to take a better course for Bonde and she was happy, but this happiness was short lived. The brother of the 'Good Samaritan' came home one day, while the mother was out at work and attacked Adilah leaving her badly wounded and emotionally disturbed!
    The matter was reported to the police, but the culprit is still at large. Mudzini advocacy and legal department will get involved to assist the mother obtain justice about what happened. Meanwhile, Adilah needed urgent medical care, food, shelter, clothing and other needs, which the mother was not able to provide from her meager and inconsistent salary. Mother and daughter went to seek help from the children’s department and Adilah was referred to Mudzini for custody while the mother pursues justice for her and looks for a meaningful job. Bonde is as needy but her daughter is even needier and Mudzini is not in a position to help both, so Adilah was admitted to Mudzini while the mother seeks for help elsewhere.
    Adilah has been to see the doctor twice since she came. She is feeling much better and she has begun going to school. We pray that God will give us the grace, wisdom and the resources to bring Adilah up to know the love and mercy of the Lord.
    Catherine Julius

    Life is Cheap
    We were travelling back to Mudzini with Alice and Catherine when there was a moblile phone call to go to the Office of the President in Kikambala with the news that there was a baby in need. When we arrived we saw a young man holding a tiny baby, very carefully and tenderly. The man stated that he had found the baby at the side of the road in some clothes and he brought the baby to the Office. He stated that the little one was seven weeks old. That statement began to raise suspicions about the facts that were being given. We took the baby back to Mudzini to clean, feed and dress. The baby was a boy so was taken to another home to be cared for after that.
    The following day, we went back to the office because the child's mother was there. Arriving in the room, we saw three people, the mother, the young man seen previously and another young man. With Alice and Catherine investigating, it transpired that the first young man had had a relationship with the young woman and because a baby would be born, it would mean disgrace to both families, the man left the woman. She had met the other man and they agreed to marry and this man was willing to care for her and the new baby. When the baby was born, there was friction between the three and it was decided to let the Children's Department look after the child. 
    Alice believed that a lesson needed to be taught to these young people and that they should behave responsibly and not treat new life so cheaply. As a qualified lawyer, Alice was able to take the three people to the police station, where the mother and real father spent some time in the cells. When it is felt that the mother can cope with the baby, it will be re-united with her.
    Although there were Kenyan officials present throughout the investigative process, it was left to the Mudzini staff to do the work of the Children's Department. Alice and Catherine do not mind since they know that often, if they do not intervene, children will suffer.
    Geraint and Margaret Stephens