Thursday, January 13, 2011

Back to School: Matusse

Matusse’s real name is Sadik. Many of the boys make up names for themselves when they begin living on the street so that they don’t have to reveal their true identity to others. When we reintegrated Matusse with his father back in November, we learned his real name. Matusse is 14 years old. He’ll be studying in the 5th grade this year.

Matusse has had a hard time since he returned home. Just before Christmas, he got into trouble and his father kicked him out of the house. On today’s visit, when we should have been focusing on Matusse’s school registration, we were sorting through this family dispute. We had a 4 hour meeting with Matusse, his father, his sister, his stepmother, and the chief of their village. Matusse’s father was trying to forbid his son from living with his sister as well. So the chief of the village intervened to mediate through the dispute. In the end, Matusse’s father was forced to give Matusse all of the things we had purchased for him (clothes, blankets, and a small business) and grant his son permission to live with other family members. The ending was good but it was a frustrating situation. I’ll never understand how a father can kick his son out rather than forgive him for his error. Please keep Matusse in your prayers as he adjusts to living with his older sister. His father lives very close to this sister so there is still hope for their relationship to be restored.

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