Last August we took in a little abandoned child called Tuhiringere (too-ee-ring-er-ray). His mother had abandoned him outside her mother’s house. The Grandmother then took him to the father’s village and left him on the ground there. The Police brought him to us.
He was a ‘shut down’ child. We even wondered if he was deaf as he was so unresponsive. Gradually he came out of himself, partly because his mother turned up. They spent some time on the Unit to get Tuhiringere to his proper weight. We arranged that the Police and Probation Officer would help sort her social problems and on their final day, even dropped her off at the Police Station.
Imagine our disappointment when in January he came back to us again. Winniefred was asked by the Magistrate to pick up a child. The mother had abandoned him again and was sleeping rough. It was felt the child was in danger and should be removed. It seems the mother had been chucked out by her family again as she was unwilling to help with digging, washing clothes or any other task given to her. Sleeping with men was the only activity she was inclined to do.
Again, Tuhiringere was in shut down mode but began to thaw in a few days. Now he is a mischievous toddler with the biggest eyes ever and a winning smile. He likes nothing better than to be picked up for a cuddle and is almost walking independently. What will we do with him now? Long-term fostering would be the best option but hard to achieve. We have people willing to take girls but not boys. The reason is that when they get older they may get a girl pregnant. If he cannot financially support his child then the girl has a legal right to dump that child on his family. It’s a problem.
The following pictures show Tuhiringere’s great sense of fun.