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Soleil Mbaya


Soleil is a boy of 15, the eldest of a family of three children, and the only boy. His parents split up 8 years ago. After their separation the father had custody of the children and he went with them to live with his mother. He has no work and no resources. It’s the grandmother who looks after the children, but she has very little resources, and Soleil had to stop his schooling in 5th year of Primary.

On top of this, the father is himself unhappy, and mistreats his children all the time, accusing Soleil of being the sorcerer that prevents him from getting work. This drove Soleil to run away into the streets where he lived for two years until one of his friends led him to our centre. We were able to welcome him, listen to him, and he told us about his sufferings and the accusation of sorcery that weighed on him. We went in search of his family but the address that the boy had given us was not the right one. We had to listen again patiently to Soleil, in order to gain his confidence so that he could tell us the correct address.

We went along to the family house and met the grandmother. She has lost hope of finding her grandson again despite her many fasts and prayers in various churches. She was greatly moved to know that her grandchild was alive after two years without any news.

The very next day Soleil’s father came to the centre in order to find his son again and talk with him. The boy initially wanted to run away and not go near his father, saying: “You accuse me of sorcery, what are you doing coming here? I do not need you.” However, after much negotiation, the child agreed to sit down and hear his father out. The father told him: “You are my only son. I love you and I need you!” After a three-hour meeting there were able to be reconciled, and the father went home. Next day we took the boy to his home. Everyone hugged and kissed him with great emotion. We have enrolled Soleil in a professional training centre for car mechanics. For the time being he is happily settled back with his family.

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