Updated: Jun 27, 2019
On his way to Open Arms Academy, Abel heard someone shouting and screaming behind him, threatening to stab him with a knife. He ran as fast as his nine-year-old legs could carry him. Little Abel did not have to look behind him to know who it was. This was something he had been through before.
"I knew it was my mother. When she drinks, she is very violent," he said as he recalled the incident.
"I had to get to school fast because it is the only place that makes me feel safe."
Abel has grown up fast to survive the harsh reality of his life. At home, he cares for his six-year-old brother and his two-year-old baby sister. His older brother ran away a few years ago, leaving them alone in a small mud hut.
Abel sometimes misses school when his mother doesn't come home and he must care for his brother and sister. But school is the only place he gets food to eat. His teacher once asked him if he had eaten. His answer? "Yes...two days ago."
Another teacher shared, "Abel is one of the brightest boys I have in my class! But he is going through a lot of hardship. I am scared for him. He once came to class on a Monday shaking because he only had a cup of black tea to drink through the whole weekend. I am glad he is at this school because we can help him."
Abel has an opportunity to be at Open Arms Academy, which means that he has a chance to fight for a better future! Open Arms social workers are closely monitoring his situation. And he has proven time and again that he will not give up on school. "I did not know that people could be kind to me like the people at this school. I will do my best to make it."
This is where you make a difference! Each child at Open Arms Village and Academy has a unique story of survival. And just like Abel, they desperately need someone to notice and care.