RECENT SUCCESS STORIES.
Richard experienced terrible violence, chaos, mistreatment, and hunger in the streets as a young boy. On top of this harsh reality, things were only more difficult for him as a result of his partial blindness due to a deteriorating congenital eye condition. He ran away from home at a young age because he was abused. He lived in the streets fighting to survive for several years. When Alfajiri found Richard, he attended workshops regularly and eventually was reunited with his grandmother. Alfajiri sponsored him to go to boarding school at Thika School for the Blind, where he joined the school’s sports teams to compete in athletics. In 2022, Richard placed first in a major running competition, emerging as the school’s top runner. Shortly after this achievement, Richard was selected to represent Kenya in the Paralympic championship competitions. He hopes to attend the Paralympic event scheduled in Australia. His passion, drive, and focus have been an inspiration to Alfajiri staff members and his fellow street children.
Juma lived in the streets for many years before lifting himself out of destitution by selling local scrap metals. He was able to earn enough money to afford a small place to live. Juma has developed into a very versatile and talented artist dedicated to his craft. He often watches painting videos and talks with professional painters to improve his work. He is professional in his artistic approach and is always willing to learn new things. Juma visits the Alfajiri center twice per week to paint and draw freely. Juma’s dedication to his craft has not gone unnoticed, as his talented work had a critical influence on a gallery selection committee in France. He continues to create beautiful pieces that speak to his creativity and focus.
Nicholas has been an active participant at Alfajiri workshops for several years. He has come to be an accomplished painter with hopes of joining fine art school to continue his studies. Nicholas’ dedication and entrepreneurial spirit helped him obtain an outlet for his work at a gallery in Mombasa, where a local Diani Beach art dealer assists him with his sales. It is hard to believe that such a talented and hardworking boy like Nicholas was once roaming the streets of Mlango Kubwa with no family, food, or financial security. He undoubtedly has a very bright future ahead of him.
Hassan, having a Somali heritage, experienced even more challenges and threats among the street boys living in the rubbish dumps of Mlango Kubwa than many of his counterparts. The prejudice displayed against his race is unjustifiable yet quite real, which made it very difficult for Alfajiri staff members to place him in an appropriate rehabilitation center. Despite this terrible injustice towards Hassan and his fellow Somali people, Alfajiri was able to sponsor him from age 11 to go to primary school and rehabilitation. Now, at 21 years old, Hassan has dreams of a bright future, likely revolving around art as he has grown to be a very prolific and talented young artist. Hassan studies screen printing and has hopes to sell his designs on clothes and shoes. He is an incredibly graphic and well-organized artist who regularly travels over an hour to come to the center to practice his artwork and talk about his struggles, hopes, and dreams for the future.