a relative who is willing to care for a child is just one part of
making a successful reunification. We must also ensure that the child
has the opportunity to continue their education, enough food to eat,
and a safe place to live. This year Amani will be
repairing 7 family homes by patching leaky roofs, replacing rotted
wood, and repairing damaged walls.
One of these families is the
Severins. Cornell, Emmanuel, and Theresia Severin were abandoned by
both their mother and father in 2004. A village elder, desperate to
help the young siblings, brought them to Amani for help. The
Severin children lived at Amani for 3 years while our social workers
searched for their relatives. In 2007 their aunt was located and agreed
to care for the children. The kids began school and began a new life
with their aunt. However, the aunt’s neighbors produced homemade
alcohol and it became apparent that the environment was unsafe for
The aunt suggested the children move to
their grandmother’s house in a nearby village. The grandmother was
happy to have the children live with her, but when Amani’s social
workers visited her home they realized that this wouldn’t be possible.
Her tiny one room house made of mud and sticks was unsuitable for the
three school-age children.
“The children were so
eager to live with their grandmother that they began collecting stones
from the river,” says Amani’s Social Work Coordinator Japhary Salum.
“When I asked them what they were doing, they told me they were going
to build a new house to live in.”
the Severin’s situation with Amani’s Director and Board of Trustees and
it was agreed that a second room should be built for Cornell and
Emmanuel, the two young boys. Construction is now underway on the room.
Amani is committed to giving children the opportunity to grow up as
part of a loving family whenever possible, and in the case of the
Severin children and many others, this goal will soon become a happy