The return of the century! After two years Kumbukani returns to Kasisi! Welcome home Kumbukani!
Father Jacob, the parish priest in Kasisi, has seen a lot. What happened to him a few days ago, however, he will remember for a long time. Let’s start with the fact that the Jesuit parish in Kasisi is not just a church and vicarage, but dozens of villages and settlements within a radius of several dozen kilometres. The priests try to visit each of them at least once every few weeks. A visit to such places is therefore a great event for the inhabitants, an opportunity not only to receive the sacraments, but to celebrate together with a special guest. In gratitude, the priests receive corn, flour, rice, sometimes chicken, nuts or bananas. Returning to the parish, Father Jacob leaves everything for the children at our home. That day, however, he came with a completely different surprise.
During a visit to the Chongwe area, some twenty kilometres from the Kasisi mission, a teenage boy was waiting for Father Jacob, along with a whole village of parishioners. As the priest was about to set off on his return journey, the boy jumped into his car and announced that he would only get out in Kasisi. There was no discussion that the parents did not know who he was or what he was up to. The priest was to go and that was that. In Kasisi it turned out to be Kubukani, who had left our home to go back to his family almost two years ago.
The boy’s parents, although they initially tried very hard to be able to look after him again, with time they completely forgot about the child and returned to their old and not very responsible ways. Kumbukani did not go to school, he wandered around the streets and ate at the neighbours’. He had had enough. He wanted to return to Kasisi. Back home!
Now imagine how the sisters reacted. The joy of the meeting was quickly overshadowed by the fear that someone would accuse the parish priest of kidnapping, that they would look for him and that Kasisi would be labelled an organised crime group instead of a child-friendly home. So we sent the boy back to his family and quickly contacted the social care in Chongwe. Social workers visited Kumbukani’s family home several times to get a full picture of the case and to confirm that the boy is suffering and Kasisi’s help is really needed. To no avail. The parents were not there. Brave Kumbukani, seeing how long the process was taking, finally took matters into his own hands. He stormed into the social welfare office, said that he was not a piece of furniture that could be rearranged again and again, that his parents had not given a damn about him for a long time, and that he would not move from the office until someone drove him to Kasisi, because that is where his home was.
Social services decided that the request would be granted. Kubukani is with us in Kasisi. This is his place. This is where he has his corner. He will go to school again and you can take care of this brave young man again thanks to our Adoptions from the Heart project. Because who, if not you and Kasisi, can better put wind into his sails of life?
Santa Claus never had it easy in Kasisi 😉 Over 230 children live here. Sister Mariola has already rushed to his aid and is quietly preparing presents!
Many of us still leave a free seat at the Christmas Eve table. Let one of our children sit at it this year (at a distance, but very much for real) and invite them to the table today!