Retrak’s outreach workers met Fred for the first time during a regular football training session. Activities like these, held near the streets where the children live, provide a chance to get to know the children and for them to understand what Retrak can offer.
As the football started, Fred hung back. One of Retrak’s outreach workers noticed him immediately since he was dressed in clean clothes, unlike the others. He asked some of the other children to encourage Fred to join in, and then during the games he made sure to complement Fred on his appearance and on how well he was playing. At the end of the session Fred began to ask questions about Retrak and was invited to come to the drop-in centre the next day.
Fred was keen to play more football, he loved the game and was always talking about the different footballers he admired, so he came along to Retrak’s drop-in centre. Over the course of the following week he joined in with football and other games, as well as getting good meals and attending the education and life-skills classes. By the end of the week Retrak’s outreach worker had been able to talk to him some more and had learnt that Fred had been on the streets for sometime. Since he hated getting dirty and sleeping outside, he mopped the floor in a video hall every evening so that the owner would let him sleep inside. He had run away from home after his parent’s divorced and his father didn’t care for him.
Fred stayed on with Retrak and after 5 months of counselling and preparation at the halfway home, Fred was able to return to live with his mother. He’s now settled at home and is back in school where he often comes top of the class. And he still stands out for being tidy and smart!
Children’s names and pictures have been changed, but they are all happy for us to share their story with you.