Max’s story

Max, 15, ran away to Mombasa, Kenya, when his step-mother made home life impossible. His mother died when he was 3. In 2014, he was diagnosed with HIV and though his stepmother initially accepted the diagnosis, her attitude changed and she began denying him food, which interfered with his medicine.  In 2016, home life became so unbearable that Max left, spending the next few years in a cycle of homelessness, being picked up by the police, being returned home and then returning to the streets of Mombasa.

Rope’s partner’s Glad’s House met Max in Likoni Remand Home in March 2018.  He had rashes all over his body and chose to live a solitary life in prison.  He started participating in Glad’s House’s life skills and football programme. It was through these activities and developing a relationship with Glad’s House social workers that Max disclosed his health status.  The social work team took Max for a medical test and found a health facility willing to support his treatment.  They then shared their report with the Children’s Officer in charge, who recommended that Max was released, which the court granted. Unwilling to return home, Max went to live in a children’s home and now attends school.

Glad’s House report that Max has progressed really well at school and is a hard working, bright boy who is very well behaved.  One of Glad’s House’s social workers recently visited Max and reports, “Max came running towards me, calling my name and hugging me.  He is happy, healthy and strong, so different to the boy I met in the prison last year.”

Max is one of 150 children whose cases were supported through the Mombasa courts by a Glad’s House social worker last year.

How you can help more children like Max

  • £15 covers the weekly travel costs to enable a social worker to visit children in prison
  • £100 will provide an advocate for a child in prison so they gain freedom and a future