Probably the most inconvenient night to be born. Instead of fireworks, live ammunition rocked her first few hours on earth. Besides, she was born right inside her young parents’ house, because going to hospital that night would have amounted to suicide.
Doing their best now, they can hopefully reassure little Christine Mapenzi that it’s not such a bad place after all.
As I interviewed her dad, Charo Safari, it struck me that, although just in his late twenties, he is walking a tight rope – leading his young family right after the gruesome Mpeketoni Attack . Yet with a calm, confident voice, he detailed his daily routine, never realizing how deep his words sunk. . .
1. A man/ father is punctual
Charo rides his wife and 3 children on a bicycle to Hindi Prison every day. Despite the fact that he spends his day keeping his farm secure from wild animals, he ensures that his family arrives at Hindi Prison by 4:30pm, making them among the first every day.
Their motivation is to book an old cage-like piece of furniture, which serves as a perfect cot for Christine. It not only provides a more comfortable padding at night by keeping her from sleeping on cold cement floor, but it also enables her parents to hang a mosquito net on it. With high ceilings at the prison hall, mosquito nets are difficult to prop up leaving many infants unprotected at night. Charo knows this.
2. A father sacrifices
On the day of the interview, Charo had sold a valuable item: his phone, in order to support his family of five because his income streams had run out. “This money (Ksh 1000/ $12) will keep us going for the next two weeks,” he said.
Among his daily expenses include a loaf and packet of milk for Catherine’s dinner and his two sons, aged 3 and 7 years old. “Today I didn’t manage to purchase any milk for her,” he said, fishing out the loaf and margarine from a black polythene bag. Further, he also opts out of supper, preferring to use their coffers sparingly.
3. A father protects
The reason Charo spends daytime at his farm located at a potentially dangerous zone, about two hours away (on a bicycle) is to guard it against destructive monkeys. He hopes to salvage some during harvest season and put some money back into his pockets again, soon.
World Concern has partnered with the displaced to provide mats and blankets to assist vulnerable mothers like Catherine (Christine’s mum) at Hindi Prison. Together with their infants, they can now shield themselves from the cold, drizzly nights at the hall.