Michael was born and raised in Nairobi, Kenya, and comes from a family of five. When he looks back on his childhood, he has memories of his parents’ love, but also of the hardships they faced.
“Growing up was not easy for us. I remember many days when my family would not afford basic commodities; like clothing and food.”
Then, things got even harder. Michael’s mother died, his father lost his job and Michael was sent to a children’s home.
“Of course, this felt like a heaven-sent opportunity. I didn’t have to worry about food, clothing or school fee arrears, or so I thought. But that was the beginning of my nightmare. I was 13 years old. I was a child, and I did not understand that I could resist."
Michael endured sexual, verbal, psychological and physical abuse from the director of the home, over and over.
And it turned out Michael wasn’t the only one being abused. Numerous complaints had been filed against the director by other boys at the home.
But the story doesn’t end there… RESCUE CAME!
An IJM team and local police raided the children’s home where Michael was staying. He and the other boys were brought to safety, and they began their journey to healing and justice.
IJM teams walked alongside Michael as he went through counseling and shared his story with them. They also stayed with him throughout the legal process—something that can feel insurmountable for survivors if they’re alone.
The director of the children’s home was brought to court, and after many failed attempts at conviction, justice came!
In August 2022, the director was sentenced to 100 years in prison for his crimes against the other boys.
“This has been a long journey,” says Esther Njuguna, IJM Kenya staff. “When we lost in the first case nearly 15 years ago, the boys cried when we broke the news to them, and this broke my heart. I felt like we had failed them. Years later he was at it again abusing boys everywhere!
But… this sentence is justice. A tremendous victory for the boys then, the boys now.”
Stories of justice like this give Michael hope.
Even as his case against the director is still ongoing, IJM continues to walk alongside him with counseling, legal support and even tuition fees to complete his education. He’s not alone, thanks to your support of rescue operations and survivor care.
When Michael reflects on his journey so far, he says: “I can never be thankful enough for the selfless devotion IJM showed me throughout my healing process.”