Birthday : Aug 10
Although five years old when he arrived, due to malnutrition he looked maybe three years old. His yellowed teeth evidenced his past, which was quite haunting – looking at this flourishing little boy running around playing it is such a relief that he is with us.
The social welfare office was first alerted about Alick when some neighbors reported his mother abusing him. After deciding she no longer wanted him, she forced him into a rubbage bag and waited till it was garbage day in town. This is an excerpt that was written in the report, “Some people saw this woman with a plastic on her head going to throw something away. She placed it in the bin and walked away. Luckily someone threw some garbage after her and noticed the bag moving”. When they opened it they found that Alick inside crying. This is how he came to stay with his father. Sadly the situation for Alick did not improve. His father made him beg for money during the day, while they slept in bars during the night where he was physically, mentally, and sexually abused. His father became very ill and abandoned him at the Social Welfare office where he was immediately placed with us. The next week his father died of AIDS, his mother has fled this part of the country.
The most unbelievable part was hearing his little voice asking to please buy him beer. He arrived to our home a 5-year-old alcoholic.
Now 8 years old, it took Alick almost a year before he felt comfortable to talk freely with his new Lupwa family. Since Alick had always had to beg for his food, the first year with us he would cry when he saw anyone eating and he wasn’t included. He would make himselfsick by overeating at every meal fearing that it was his last. He glued himself to his older brother, Shadrick and mimicked everything Shadrick said and did.
After about a year and a half, it seemed like overnight Alick blossomed. When Alick now awakens in the morning the house is filled with laughter and singing at full volume (yes, full volume at 7 in the morning!!!!) Although he’s still always by Shadrick’s side, he feels comfortable to be by himself or with other kids. Coming out of such an abusive environment, it has taken him some time to learn to trust people around him, and to learn that this is now his permanent home.
Although Alick had spent most of his life on the streets, he has now learned what it’s like to have a childhood. He is constantly making his Lupwa brothers and sisters laugh with his jokes. His English is really improving, which is essential, because government schools are taught in British English instead of the local language. Alick is now attending the second grade and absolutely loves it. He would like to be a mechanic when he grows up, and his favorite subject in school is math. Each morning a he walks away to school with his little backpack he waves as he turns the corner.