BoysGilrsTown ThumbnailFrom being unwanted, to being reunited with family, orphan Azola’s journey to hope has given him a reason to live, thanks to the team at Girls & Boys Town.

 

 

 

 

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How do you continually give a child hope, when they see none?  How do you continually encourage a child to strive to do their best, when there is no family to be proud of them?  How do you encourage a child to see how important family is, when all they see is the closed door of their family home?  This was the situation for young Azola – an orphan, who was rejected by his family. 

But the team at Girls & Boys Town (GBT) did not give up on him, despite his family and extended family shutting the door on him, over the past eight years.

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Much time was spent by social and care workers to try and engage with the family, to re-establish a relationship.  For Azola, the ongoing rejection caused him to act out even more and lose all hope in life. In his words, “if my family doesn’t want me what is the point!” Azola’s schoolwork suffered badly and he couldn’t even see a future for himself. 

After many times of trying to call and visit his family, the GBT team decided one Saturday to visit the family home and see who was there.   Azola remembered exactly where the house was, and even though he was optimistic, he felt anxious to meet his estranged family again. 

When they arrived, everyone was relieved to see Azola’s cousin, siblings and other family members at home. The family was overjoyed to see him again, showing him how much they’d missed him, and giving the GBT team hope and determination to settle Azola into his family again. 

Fruitful discussions have been ongoing between the team and Azola’s cousins and siblings; and Azola has finally managed to go home and be accepted by his family, for the first time in eight years.

 

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Azola’s school work has improved, he’s regained self-esteem and, most importantly, he has hope for the future and the drive to do his best - so he can have a career and support his own family.

The transformation has been amazing, and Azola recently won a spelling competition at a youth event - something that wouldn’t have happened last year.

GBT social workers consistently work with families in communities and young people, to help reunite them with their families again. It is heart breaking when children are abandoned by their own families, but the team has never given up. 

With 61 years of providing therapeutic care to vulnerable youth, GBT’s legacy is about fulfilling dreams and improving lives.  The organisation has continued to expand, with the inclusion of girls into the programme in 2004, which then evolved to Girls & Boys Town, offering service to between 20 000 to 50 000 beneficiaries a year.