Sadly, the belief in their village is that AIDS is a curse, and that Joseph is cursed. None of his extended family would touch him or take him in to live with them…out of ignorance Joseph found himself at age 9 without a home or a family. His school was interrupted and his life became that of a homeless orphan.
Enter Josephine, a strong woman from Ruiru, near Nairobi, who despite being a single mom, and a wildlife tourism guide out of work thanks to Covid, constantly checks on street kids and tries to improve their lives. She has found shelter for many of them, food for many more, and continuasly and tirelessly organizes canteen, health checks, and even sports activity through a rowing club she is trying to get started in Ruiru. She herself was a rower for Kenya and knows how formative the sport can be.
Joseph took special interest in Josephine and rowing, often begging her to take him to try rowing, to take him home, to live with her. He had never accepted life on the street and wanted desperately to continue school and to return to a normal family life. Despite having two children already in a small apartment, she finally gave in and became like a new brother to her children.
School in Kenya however is not free and for Joseph to be able to attend the local boarding school during school term, and have his own bed at least during the semester, a sum too large for Josephine is required. One of the only possessions he has always kept with him since losing a family is a photo of himself in his old school uniform: before being kicked out he was an excellent student and still today dreams of becoming a doctor and of rowing for Kenya.
- Noelle Cazzaniga
- David4 Martin
- Karin Olsen Campia
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