July 2014- John is now 10 years old. He is living with his mother and little brother, Peter. His mom is now employed as a housekeeper. While she does not get paid a lot, she can provide shelter for her family. John is in the 6th grade and at the top of his class! He is a very bright and a quick learner. In addition to being an exceptional student, John also sings in the RHO Appleseed Choir. This requires not only talent, but dedication as well. It has been exciting watching John's growth over the past few years. I can't wait to see where his life takes him!
Back With Mom! The Mukwamba boys are once again living with their mother. Fortunately, when the land lord found out that the children were living alone, he told the father that they must move as it was not a safe situation. So, the father had no choice but to let the boys go back to their mother. They are in a tiny one roomed cinder block home. The mother still does not work, so she is very grateful that the boys have school. Academically, John has made huge strides! He is reading now! This is quite and accomplishment considering he has only been attending school for about a year and a half. He is very happy and loves to hang out at school long after the school day is over!
2012- John is a very sweet 8 year old boy. He lives with his sister, Esther, who is 17; his brother, James, who is 13 and his little brother, Peter, who is 6. John is not technically an orphan, however, in many ways he is worse off than most of the actual orphans at Appleseed. When we first met him, in August of 2011,he lived with his siblings and both parents. The parents were very poor, but the family was together. About 2 months ago, we found out the the Mukwamba kids have been living alone. The father moved away from the family told the mother that she must also leave the house! If she did, then he would continue paying the rent where they live. So, John's mother, I suppose, feeling that she had no other choice, left her children alone. The father has paid the rent for the past few months, but the kids are taking care of themselves. In addition, Esther has a boyfriend and does not spend much time at home. So, John, James and Peter are essentially on their own. Despite their very hard lives, these boys always seem to have a smile on their faces. They come to school everyday where they get breakfast and lunch. Our outreach worker, Vincent, checks on them a few nights a week and one of our teachers, who lives nearby, checks on them as well. We are so grateful that John and Jimmy have sponsors. We have been able to provide them with Mealie-Meal ( the basic staple food here) as well as beans and fruit.
John recently went on a shopping trip where he picked out pants, a shirt, and shoes. After the shopping, we went to a restaurant called Shaka's where the kids had ice cream and played in the playroom. What a great day!