Home from the Bridges and Streets of Zambia

We just received a postcard about an abandoned child Bobby, who was found wandering on the main road leading into town. We are slowly uncovering some of the details and the background of Bobby’s story.

Before Bobby was old enough to go to school, he was abandoned under a bridge in a high density shopping area.  He was found and cared for by a group of street boys who lived under the bridge.  Though these boys had a hard time finding enough food for themselves, they had compassion on this younger boy and took him under their wings.  Bobby, too young to go out foraging with them during the day, spent most of his time under the bridge day after day waiting for his friends to come home and give him something to eat.

To ward off hunger and cold, street children find empty glass bottles, like Coke, that have been discarded.  They somehow manage to get enough money to buy glue and steal bits of gasoline from parked vehicles.  They put this into the bottle and inhale the fumes.  It is very dangerous and causes brain damage when used even for a short time.  But, they claim it dulls the feelings of being hungry, cold, and lonely.  The street boys thought they were being kind to Bobby when they shared their street drugs with him.

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One day, Bobby was found wandering on the main road leading into town by a passing gentleman. He was very wobbly on his small legs and was nearly knocked down by a passerby.  The gentleman stopped and soon assessed the tragic implications of the situation.  This Samaritan brought Bobby to the Department of Social Welfare who transferred him to the Crisis Nursery our partners operate.

For the first two days after Bobby arrived he slept most of the time.  Even after he began to tentatively play with the other children, he was always looking out the door, or the window, expecting his friends to come for him.  It is certain the boys under the bridge missed their “little brother,” but none of them dared asking officials where he might be found.  Soon Bobby settled into his new home.

Often Zambian couples visit our homes hoping to find a child to adopt.  One such couple bonded very quickly to Bobby.  Today he is a strong, happy, and intelligent child with no signs whatsoever of brain damage, the beloved son of a wonderful couple.

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