LINSTONE-STREET KID’S HURDLES AND SUCCESS STORY

In mid September 2016, I had been told I was to interview a certain guy who was to come to our studios by 4pm. Since I only had a brief about him, I thought it would be just another story to listen to. By 3:30pm, I was told my interviewee had arrived. I was amazed; given the fact that keeping time to the new millennium is like expecting the sun to leave the sky.

Linstone Ouma, a young decently dressed and sharp looking young man was already in the studio for the interview. I noticed his charisma and humble personality from the word go. After being prepared for the camera, I was interested in knowing his story.

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Linstone Ouma(Studio photo by versatile photographers)

Linstone was born to a family of six children in Kangemi, Kibagare slums. To make ends meet his mother sold roasted maize by the roadside while his father spent all his small earnings from the casual jobs he did in alcohol. Life was hard for him and his siblings such that at the age of ten he had not yet attended school. The turbulence increased when his father became violent and physically abused his mother by beating her up. Being young it hurt him to the core to see all this and not do anything. As time went by, things became tougher as there were days when they were even lucky to have one meal in a day. The pain of hunger is one thing he will live to remember forever.At a very tender age, Linstone’s heart met the cruelty of life when their father walked out of their lives. The sting was too painful for all in the family.

Having no other choice, Linstone and his elder brother joined other kids who loitered in the streets to look for odd jobs. Despite their effort they barely got anything by nightfall. Looking at their neighbors, who were also poor, they seemed to be poorer than all.Driven by hunger, they were forced to tot water, collect and sell firewood, and even commit small crimes like stealing and selling people’s property.By the time he turned eleven years old, his light of hope had died and he thought he would never amount to anything.

A flicker of hope came when a lady from America showed up and took 30 children among them Linstone and his brother.

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Linstone Ouma(Studio photo by versatile photographers)

She promised to give them food and education.

However, there was one problem the boys had, their addiction to glue. Even though Linstone wasn’t that much a victim, his brother Ronald had been enslaved and the addiction was so strong that he convinced Linstone to escape from the resource center. They went back to the streets.

Street life is not as bad as you imagine, it’s horrible and worse. For your survival and protection you had to join a group. Since they were at Westland Nairobi, they joined one called the Base. To be accepted you had to do all the things they did, including sniffing glue and other drugs. Being the youngest he faced a lot of hurdles. At times he would have to go beg for money, hiding his one arm to seek for pity, at times cut himself then beg for money to go to hospital. This never happened, since it was given to the Base leader. He saw many of his friends succumb to death as one of them ones ran to the middle of the road and was hit by a car and died. Each day he prayed to God so that He could keep him away from such extreme ends. The scary escapades he saw like watching some of the boys get molested still trouble him.

One day that he will never forget, a nun came to his rescue. She found them jumping from a bridge they always went to hung out on and asked them to go with her to a children’s home. Only seventeen of them agreed.

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Linstone Ouma(Studio photo by versatile photographers)

This was a new leaf; Joining St Martin’s children’s home open a new page for Linstone’s life. At this children’s home he was able to quench his thirst for education. By the time he cleared class eight, he was very pleased and happy with himself since he was the first in his family to reach that far. With help and support from scholarships he managed to finish high school. This was a miracle for him.Driven by the desire to give back to the community he Volunteered at an organization that had helped him earn a scholarship at the Kenya Institute of Social Work and community development, where he achieved a certificate in Social Work and Welfare.

Even with his education there are other things that still made him feel empty and lonely. In 2012,he joined a church and gave his life to Christ. He had never felt that kind of fulfillment in his life. Only Psalms 116 can express his Joy to the lord.

Psalm 116

I love the Lord, for he heard my voice;
he heard my cry for mercy.
Because he turned his ear to me,
I will call on him as long as I live.

The cords of death entangled me,
the anguish of the grave came over me;
I was overcome by distress and sorrow.
Then I called on the name of the Lord:
“Lord, save me!”

The Lord is gracious and righteous;
our God is full of compassion.
The Lord protects the unwary;
when I was brought low, he saved me.

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Linstone Ouma(Studio photo by versatile photographers)

After this more doors were opened for him as he got a chance to work as a Social Worker for a children’s organization in Nairobi.

Today, Linstone is pursuing higher education, he is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Gender, Women and Development studies at Egerton University. His future goal is to serve in a project management role in community services. He has also begun to help his younger brothers with the fees they need for their education.

In Linestone’s world, there is no dream that is too big for you to achieve. He lives with three major pillars in life, Hope, Faith and Happiness, as he is pleased with how far God has brought him.Being an example to the street kids of the Nairobi slums and to the Upendo Boys. He hopes his story will encourage others.

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Linstone Ouma(Studio photo by versatile photographers)

Just like Linstone has begun to give back to the society,I remembered a story I read at Moralstories.com that…

“Once there was a farmer who used to grow excellent quality corn in his fields. He always won an award for the best-grown corn in the area.

One day a news reporter went to interview the farmer and asked him about his secret of winning. So, he researched about his work and came to know that the farmer used to share his best-grown seeds with his neighbors.

So when the interview started the reporter questioned, “Sir, why do you share you best seeds with your neighbors knowing that they are also going to enter in competition against you. Wouldn’t it make it difficult for you to win competition?”

Farmer replied, “Don’t you know that wind pick up pollen from the ripening corn and swirls it from field to field. If you think you will understand that if my neighbors grow inferior corn and cross-pollination will degrade the quality of corn. So, if I want to grow good corn then i must help my neighbor grow good corn.”

To live meaningful and happy life we should help Enrich life of others. True happiness is found when we Share with others and help them.

Tomorrow the 30th of October 2016, Linstone will be at Bahati Rehabilitation Center in Bahati. Incase you want to be involved or support. You are welcomed.

Ronald Reagan says, “We cant help everyone but everyone can help someone.”

Check his strory on youtube-LINSTONE OUMA

Author

SARAFINA ROBI.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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