Tony was a 13-year-old orphan when he ran off to live on the streets of Kisumu after both his parents had died when he was 9 years old. His grandparents took care of him but after his grandfather died his grandmother due to family issues could not take care of Tony any longer. He stayed with his relatives who chased him away after a while because he was one “mouth to much to fill”.
On the streets Tony went through the most terrifying time of his life. Eventually he was taken into an orphanage where he gradually began to regain a sense of basic inner security.
The PIP program in the center enabled Tony to talk about his traumatic experiences from the past. The counsellor got a better understanding about how he was emotional and socially affected and how he was affected by his larger community. He had to overcome these tragic experiences which take time to heal. He also had to let go with his less adequate coping mechanisms like not telling the truth; letting himself being influenced by ‘bad’ people to survive.
Tony went back to Primary school supported by sponsors. He picked up the learning fast and in the last class he was the number 2 of the whole school.
Tony passed the Secondary school without failure although there was a little relapse. He managed with some help to put himself together again. He regained his trust in the world around him although it took him a long time to open up.
He possesses a highly developed sense of responsibility: not only for his own welfare but also for his only living family member, his grandmother. At his rural home he managed to build a small house for himself on his family grounds so now he is rooted again.
It was a another big step for him to leave Kisumu and to start his study economics at the University in Nairobi. So far he is managing pretty well.