Mkhonto's story (Christmas 1999)

Mkhonto - There is hope!

The corridors of our care and hospice centre echo with the laughter and squeals of a little boy of about three years old. This was absolutely not the case five months ago when he was brought to our facility.

Mkhonto was a typical case of kwashiorkor (malnutrition). His whole body was covered with sores, he had a respiratory infection, he was far behind in his physical and mental development and he was psychologically battered from the trauma of having been abandoned three times, first by his own mother, then by his father and finally by the mother of his father's separated wife (who is not his grandmother). In other words, Mkhonto's mother is unknown. Mkhonto's father abandoned him with his divorced wife's mother and has been untraceable ever since, and Mkhonto's father's divorced wife's mother sent (not brought) him to us and has wanted nothing to do with him ever since.

Our first goal was to fight his kwashiorkor and heal his wounds. This proved to be the easier part of his treatment. After intensive care and experiencing a lot of love, he soon began to thrive. We contacted social services who are looking for foster parents for him so that he can grow up in a family, but this is proving quite difficult.

In the meantime, he is staying with us. He has gained a few kilograms since July and has grown a few centimetres. He has started to talk and is slowly learning to trust some people.

There is hope for him!