Nickson is a young man of 30, eldest in a family of three children. Both his parents had died by the time he was 12. The grandmother took him and his siblings in, even though she did not have enough money to look after them. Destitution followed quickly and the boy took to the streets, especially since the other members of the family accused him of being a sorcerer. When he lived in the streets he would attend several centres but not school, so he could not read nor write. When he reached 18, no structure could look after him any longer, and he turned more and more to delinquency. When we met him Nickson was reluctant to start any programme with the refuge centre for children and adolescents living in the streets. The pull of the streets was too strong and he felt unable to leave. Eventually he fathered a child with a girl who lived in the streets. They used to live on the Ngaba roundabout. He did not have the drive to quit his life in the streets.
After several years, when he had reached 30, we did succeed in getting through to him using some of our psychological support techniques. He saw the sense in starting a programme at the refuge centre for children and adolescents living in the streets. We managed to convince him about the danger he and his family were in by staying in the streets, and he agreed to try out a new lifestyle. We reassured him about the psychological support and the range of techniques that the centre used to stabilize him and ensure a successful social reintegration.
His progress in literacy and the self-esteem sessions he attended awakened in him a desire to become trained. In September 2016 he chose a carpentry course at the St Joseph Centre. In order to attend this course he managed to raise the funds for a rent guarantee and get decent housing and end life in the streets. With his wife and child they moved into a studio flat.
Nickson has adjusted well to the training course thanks to close collaboration between the St Joseph Centre and Ndako Ya Biso. At the end of his first year he managed to score 48%, a positive sign to reward his determination and our coaching. We are confident that he will achieve good results at the end of the year. The task is huge financially, materially and humanly because, having lived a long time in the streets, he has lost many social habits.