Just as I am transitioning out of Mozambique for a time to deal with my recent diagnosis of breast cancer, here at Masana, our first boy has entered into our one-month transitional housing phase. This is a vision that has been in the development for over a year. In the past, when we have reintegrated street boys back with their families, we've often had to return time and time again to help families deal with basic problems involved with a street child relearning how to function as part of a family. Our vision for this one month is that the boy will live with us and receive in-depth teaching from Luis, one of the Mozambican men on our staff. During this time, Luis will spend solid chunks of time sitting and teaching the boy about family. The boy will live here with us during this time as well, allowing him to readjust to what it's like to be a part of a family.
So meet Lorenso!
For the next month, he will be a part of our family. Lorenso is 17 years old. He's been a part of Masana since I first started working here in 2009. Last year, he got into some trouble and ended up going to jail for 10 months. I remember being so worried about him last year when he just disappeared. I even made Luis go with me one day to the city jail to see if he was there. He was not so I assumed he had run off to South Africa. But one day a few weeks ago, he just showed up again. He had been released from jail that morning and Masana was the first place he came. On the street, the boys refer to jail as "faculdade" meaning college. It's the place where boys receive some hard life lessons. Lorenso came back from his time in "faculdade" ready to make some changes in his life.
We've already met with Lorenso's family and they are happy to receive him back. His mom was very excited about this time he'll have with us though and the lessons we'd be able to teach him about being a part of family.
So as I prepare to transition out of Masana for a few months, Lorenso will be here preparing for the transition back to his family. Pretty sad that I won't be here to be a part of his time in our family but excited to see him is in a few months time when I'm able to go visit him with his family!