Another full on packed day! The students from Longsands Academy arrived this morning (AFTER Janet John and I had been into town for our coffee of course!) and they divided into two groups. One stayed with the girls at Rafiki Mwema while the others went to the boys at Rafiki Familia. Our children will really really miss them when they aren’t around. Chloe, Sam and Will came to the boys project – and really got involved with the actions!

I went over to the boys and I can’t tell you how lovely it was to see our boys playing football, singing, playing board games and hanging out with other young people. You would have struggled to know they had such sad and horrific stories to tell. It was also good for me to spend some time with the staff – we know Ray is amazing but see them all in action made my heart bust with pride! Janet, Anisha and I had great fun setting up the therapy room and just seeing what great toys had been donated to give these boys a chance to make sense of their early lives – lives you and cannot really imagine. Street life is really really tough – yet alone the horrors that happened to them to make them live on the streets in the first place

The students are great – but so are their teachers! While Stephanie stayed at the girls house working her socks off, Dan and Mick have set themselves the task of painting the living area of the boys house. They spent time getting the paint and brushes needed and then sanding down the walls – I left them to it as I believe boys and toys should ALWAYS be allowed!

I will report later on the progress made±

Back at the girls house there was lovely singing and music happening – loom bands by the million – or so it seemed and lots of laughing. Even when the heavens opened they all just moved inside – story telling and playing games. Lovely!

In the meantime Janet, Anisha and I were doing staff observations when, by accident almost, one of our little ones had the most moving, painful but important therapy sessions of her life. This very little girl spent much of her time masking how she was feeling, but exploding regularly with anger, when she couldn’t contain her feelings. In her session today she showed her anger, hatred for herself and fear of others. It was possible, because of her relationship with her carer, to begin to repair the horrific things that have happened to this little baby girl. There were tears, many tears, and it was excruciatingly painful to be part of – but also a gift to be able to help her healing path. I am so grateful that our children have an opportunity to heal – I wish it were possible for even more to experience that. This was a huge moment in my life to be allowed to be along side this journey – and a life defining moment for our little one and her carer. Great team work for the emotional good of our children.

And there was me thinking that that was enough for the day – but no. Sometimes worship becomes a group session where the girls talk about what has happened to them and why they are with us – today was such a day. In worship we talked about the difference between boys and girls (with apologies to Sam and Will who found it very tough) and the girls spoke about some of their experiences. This led to one girl speaking to Janet afterwards telling her very harrowing and graphic story – things you could not imagine – fears that she was holding – important to let it out but frightening for her and deeply distressing for the person hearing the story told. Also, another of our girls believed we were going to send her away – back to her life of prostitution. She was distraught and thought she had to beg me not to send her away – I was heartbroken – we will NEVER send a child back to danger but everyday – because some of her friends are on the countdown to home – she was waiting for us to tell her she was leaving. We simply MUST get our therapeutic school in place so we can take care of our children until they are adults and ready for the world.

Everyday I am thankful for Rafiki Mwema and Rafiki Familia – today I cannot imagine their lives if we weren’t there. Thank you to each one of you for your sponsorships, love and support – spreading the word and making it happen here in the lifes of such damaged children – YOU change their lives – Asante xxxx