Growing up in Nairobi, Kenya, Michael remembers not being able to afford basic necessities like clothing, food or even school fees.
After his mother died, his father remarried, leaving his children in the care of their stepmother while he sought work in other cities.
Unfortunately, she didn’t care well for Michael and his siblings, forcing them to scavenge for food and find recyclables to sell, so they could pay for food and school fees.
He began missing school and became increasingly depressed.
His father was told about a children’s home that could help. It seemed like a heaven-sent opportunity… at first. Michael wouldn’t have to worry about his next meal, or how to pay for school.
But that’s when the real nightmare began.
The director of the children’s home recognized his vulnerability. Instead of showing care, he took advantage of the boy.
What began with a private meeting in his office behind closed doors turned into regular “meetings” where he’d make his sexual advances.
At only 13 years old, Michael endured sexual, verbal, psychological and physical abuse from the home’s director, over and over.
When he tried to say no, the abuse only got worse.
But then, rescue came!
The local police conducted an investigation at the children’s home and arrested the perpetrator.
IJM’s child support officers took him and other abused boys to a safe house. There, he received counselling services and support through the court process.
With the help of supporters like you, he was able to stay there, getting the support he needed, until he graduated from college.
Today, Michael is an aspiring journalist who wants to use his talent to help others in their moment of need.
“I can never be thankful enough for the selfless devotion IJM showed me throughout my healing process,” he says, smiling.
Thank you for the pivotal role you played in this story! Your heart for justice is helping us pursue it for more young people like Michael.