Street Boys Rehabilitation
This is the story of a group of boys who all met on the streets and lived together under a bridge in the capital city of Yaoundé, Cameroon. They bathed and washed in the stream under a bridge and all had dropped out of secondary school. Their ‘personal property’ was kept under the bridge, while they roamed the streets during the day for food and sustenance but returned nightly to sleep under the bridge.
Africa Missions North America in 2007 responded to an urgent request by the Redeemed Christian Church of God mission to support the rehabilitation of these street boys. Rehabilitation was in two stages – full spiritual and moral training leading to eligibility to enroll in a vocational training program.
Called the ‘Jesus Boys’, an initial twelve boys whittled down to four over time, and funds were provided to support and rehabilitate each boy and empower them to be self-sufficient in their chosen skill-set. These are Luc Olama, Patrick Sidje, Elvis Yemeli and Clovis Tegha.
Luc Olama was interested in driving a taxi and Africa Missions North America paid for his training and the procurement of a city driving permit. Patrick Sidje was sponsored to join and train as a professional footballer. Africa Missions North America also paid for apprenticeship fees and tools for Elvis Yemeli who successfully trained as a welder. He now resides in Equatorial Guinea where he is gainfully employed. Clovis Tegha received support to establish a mobile food cafeteria, serving breakfast at a roadside spot.
A recent visit to Yaoundé, Cameroon in July 2016, facilitated a meeting with Clovis Tegha who had now completed his secondary school education by attending evening classes. He set aside his mobile cafeteria to focus on gaining meaningful education. He is currently pursuing an Advanced Level diploma and Africa Missions North America contributed further towards his school fees, books, and transportation for the year. Clovis has a part-time job at the Redeemed Christian Church of God Regional office in Yaoundé. He expressed his gratitude to Africa Missions North America for helping him get off the streets and pledged to assist others in need like him in the future.
Impact: The purpose of this project was to intervene directly in the lives of youth who had become displaced in society. A lack of education and other social challenges translated to a lack of gainful employment. This resulted in homelessness and made it impossible for these street boys to support themselves and be responsible citizens in society. Africa Missions North America’s intervention has helped to change these lives, restoring hope, and resettling them in society. A greater impact will be recorded when these youths go further to encourage and support other youth who desire to be rehabilitated off the streets.