Children Surviving on the Streets

Women & Children | Print

After abruptly losing his father as a small child, Joseph felt pressure to be the “man of the house” from a very young age. This pressure was only exacerbated when Joseph’s mother abandoned him and his brothers to be cared for by their elderly grandmother shortly after his father’s death. 

A little boy can only take that kind of intense strain for so long. 

Joseph’s grandmother worked at a quarry and tried to provide for the growing boys as best she could. Despite her efforts, after several years, the stone business lagged and she was no longer able to feed all of her grandsons consistently. 

Trying to be selfless the best way he knew how, Joseph voluntarily left home without telling anyone at the tender age of nine to try to ease his grandmother’s financial responsibilities and increase his brothers’ chances for survival.

He spent three exhausting years trying to make it on the streets by selling bits of scrap metal and lumps of charcoal when finally, in late March of this year, BGR partners rescued Joseph from his life of desperation and helped him recover mentally and emotionally through a children’s center’s education and mentorship program. After two months of care — during which his grandmother regularly visited him — the shelter’s social work team determined that she was fit to obtain custody.

Joseph was reunited with his grandmother and brothers in July and is now stable and attending school. BGR partners still check in on Joseph regularly to make sure he is happy and healthy and, as of the most recent report, Joseph is almost caught up to his fellow classmates, even after three years of absence! 

It is because of your generosity that kids like Joseph are able to find care during their times of need.