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Dear All,

My name is Janet and I still think every day about the good time my sister and I had at the Watoto Wema Center. That is why I would like to tell my story to you.

Before we were received by Watoto, we had no roof over our heads, because Mom could no longer pay the rent. We lived and slept outside, in the city. I'd rather not think about it because it was very difficult, especially when it was raining or cold. And because Mom was addicted to alcohol, I often had to take care of my younger sister and myself.

I really liked it in the center. We went to school every day, had a nice place to sleep and I made new friends. But I missed Mom very much. To get better I had to miss her for 6 months. When she was happy to return home, she managed to rent a room in the area where we used to live, the Mathare slums. The houses are made of iron plates and are very small. A bed and some kitchen utensils fit in it, but not much more than that. The neighborhood is not very safe because there are many thieves around. But we know a lot of people there and we take good care of each other.

Before we went back to Mom, we only stayed with her during the holidays, because then we could just go to school in the center. Because the house is so small, my sister and I sleep on a mattress on the floor that we put down at night.
During the summer holidays we went to my old school to ask if I could come and study there again. I am very happy that I could come back and see my girlfriends and friends again. I will miss my friends from the center, but I can see them when I am free from school.

I am very happy that we were able to live and study at Watoto when Mum was sick, but I am also happy to be home again with Mum.

Greetings from Janet.