>
>

Street Boys

At the time that Emily and I were at Kasisi, there were 5 street boys living in a house that was formerly owned by Jesuit priests. The house was not being used, so the priests gave it to Sister Mariola to use to begin a new community for the boys. Although someone volunteered to build a house for the street boys so that Kasisi could have room to take in more boys, when Emily and I were at Kasisi the house was not yet ready. The boys slept on the floor in matts. Many of the windows had no panes, and the doors had cracks that let cold air inside during the cold season. Each boy had a cardboard box containing his meager belongings. There was an outhouse and a shower behind the house. Cecilia and Justin, the two adults that live with the street boys, each had their own room. The spartan house served its purpose until a more suitable house could be built. For the boys, it was much better than sleeping on the streets of Lusaka, Zambia's capital city.

Although, after living on the streets, the boys were used to having free reign, there are certain responsibilities that come along with being a member of Kasisi's community. First of all, the boys are not allowed to have any money, cigarettes or drugs. Also, they are required to go to school, and they must be accounted for by either Cecilia or Justin at all times. If any of the boys breaks these rules, they must leave and are not welcome to return. The purpose of this policy is to prevent boys from taking advantage of the system and situation. Kasisi offers them a home, food, access to school by providing them with uniform and materials, and a community.

The street boys have their own community because it would be difficult to integrate them into the orphanage, especially since most of the street boys are older than the majority of the children at the orphanage. Though all the children at the orphanage were abandoned in one form or another, the street boys have either been abandoned by their families, or have run away from home. In general, the street boys tend to be a little more "street-wise" than the rest of the orphans, and Sister Mariola believes that it works best for them to be a part of their own community.