‘I will never forget the day I found my mother dead in her bed with my baby brother suckling at her lifeless body,’ says Henry.

Henry’s father had beaten his mother to death. The family were poverty-stricken and Henry’s mother had confronted her husband, saying he shouldn’t have taken a second wife because they couldn’t afford to feed anyone else.

‘My father was a very harsh man,’ says Henry. ‘If he didn’t make enough money in the market he would come home and beat us all up, saying he wouldn’t have to be sweating at the market if we weren’t such a big family.’

After Henry’s father killed his mother, he felt such hatred towards him that he immediately left home. Henry only saw his father five years later on his death bed.

‘The anger and hate I felt towards him, even after all that time, felt so fresh and I wished he would die a more painful death than the one had caused my mother.’

To survive after he left home, Henry had been working for different relatives. ‘I was used as a slave, spending all day working in the garden, surviving on wild fruits and practically naked because I couldn’t afford any clothes,’ he says.

Finding peace

At Kira Farm Henry was able to recover some of the years he had lost growing up. ‘I used to admire youths who played soccer,’ he says. ‘So, I could not believe that on Kira I finally managed to play some soccer too. I was not very good, but I am happy I got the opportunity to play!’

Henry is also grateful for the discipleship training and mentoring he received. This enabled him to release the anger he had grown up with, and by learning to forgive, he was able to find peace.

Role models

Henry’s self-esteem was so low when he arrived at Kira that he never thought he would have a bright future. However, by the time he left, he was excited about moving on with his life.

‘I got the opportunity to meet some good men on Kira,’ he smiles. ‘I left with a picture of how a good father should behave and I will hold on to the personal lesson I learned from all the good men on Kira – to be a good father and husband and not to end up like my father.’

Building a better life

With his newfound self-esteem, Henry went home and requested his share of the family land and since then life has never been the same.

Using the carpentry skills he acquired at Kira Farm, Henry has set up a carpentry workshop which is not only providing him with an income, but he is also passing on his skills to five other young people – a huge contribution in a community where youth unemployment is the norm.

Thanks to the construction skills he acquired at Kira, Henry has taken on a number of building jobs and in a good month earns no less than £100 – more than he has ever earned in his life before.

This has enabled Henry to bring his siblings back together into one home when he can take care of them – he is even managing to pay the school fees for two of his siblings.

‘Thanks to my good income I bought a second hand laptop, which I am using to type exams for the school in his village, making a further £200,’ explains Henry.

‘I plan to invest this money into a baking project to increase my income and provide further employment,’ he adds.

‘I am so happy that I am becoming a better person all the time and I smile every day!’ beams Henry. ‘Thank you so much to John and Jean for sponsoring me, I am forever in your debt.’

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