A Crying Smart Mind: from his home, to the streets, and back again

I am going to tell you about an experience that one of my good friends went through while living at home, which ended in him going to live on the streets. But first, do you know what a ‘crying smart mind’ is?

What is a crying smart mind?

A person might have a ‘crying smart mind’ when they have the ability to perform a given role but they have no opportunity to exercise it.

The reason someone might not be able to exercise their abilities vary from one person to another depending on factors like age, ability to take decisions and actions, the physical environment, financial abilities, personal strengths and many others.

In the case of children, these factors affect them a great deal because they are often too inexperienced due to being too young to make good long-term decisions. Most of the time, the choices children make are not in their favour, for example, if something goes wrong, they act very fast based on emotions and how they feel, without thinking of what could come next.

My friend is an example of someone with a ‘crying smart mind’ who did not have parents who helped guide him.

The journey to street life

My friend grew up at home up until the age of four years when he started school. At that time he was young but could recognise everything that was taking place around their family:

  • His parents used to quarrel because the father was an alcoholic
  • His father  never helped out and supported the family with anything basic such as food and clothing. It was always the mother who had to buy them after going out to work, by digging for other people in the community.
  • His elder sister was six years old and studying but his father wouldn’t contribute to school fees for her

So, my friend would dig in the farms for little money for other people in the village so he could provide a future for his sister. This was very hard on him as he was so young but there was nothing else to do and he had no alternative. He was told by his mother to dig for people to afford his sister’s fees for the school which was the best option for that time. He was happy to stay home, work with his mother and pay school fees for his sister.

As if that was not enough to manage at that time, the father divorced the mother and told her to leave the house together with her children. She had nowhere to go so she refused, but he tore down the house and burnt all the bedding. This forced them to flee their home and they started new life.

The mother took the children down into a trench where she could get dry grass, polythene bags from dustbins for them to sleep on and covered them with her clothes that she used to wear during daytime.

Life became even harder and the sister started washing clothes for people with the mother.

Numbing the pain

My friend started stealing people’s things to make sure he survived. The time he will never forget is when he became friends with a group who told him to start taking drugs to forget his problems. He began taking drugs and drinking alcohol until he lost his senses so he could not listen to anyone, not even his mother. His sister fell pregnant and the mother finally died. He lived on the streets until the age of seventeen years. He was taken to prison after being wrongly accused of killing someone but was released later after some time. He never believed that people could stop taking drugs or change their situation like his.

Meeting S.A.L.V.E.

One day, he met one of the social workers from S.A.L.V.E. that work with children who are on the streets. He was selected and taken into counselling which supported and rehabilitated from taking drugs and alcohol too. Eventually, they helped him to find some other family members in his life where he was resettled.

He later got the opportunity to see his father again and now the relationship is better. He learnt to forgive and forget and was finally put into education sponsorship and did carpentry and joinery. He is a very good carpenter and he also wishes to help one or two other children that are on the street the same way he was helped by S.A.L.V.E., to make sure they also become successful as they fulfil their future dreams.

This is the end to my story today, but not to my friend’s life! His crying smart mind is finally being exercised with opportunities he found through S.A.L.V.E.

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