04/02/2019 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – Fifteen-year-old Joseph Mwangangi lost all hope of attending secondary school after his father was killed and his family was displaced by al-Shabaab. These events occurred just a few months before he would have transitioned from primary school to high school. On the night of July 8, 2017, the quiet village of Jima in Lamu West was raided by armed Somali militants with the sole intent of killing the village’s Christian men.
“That fateful night changed our lives forever. They called my father outside and guided him outside the compound where they shot and beheaded him. We were so terrified that we could not raise our voices to call for help from our neighbors. In the morning, we found my father’s lifeless body lying on the way to the next homestead. That night, nine people were killed. The whole village was in shock and disbelief,”recalled Joseph, the second born in a family of five.
His family was among more than 200 families that were sheltered at a local church, AIC Witu. They lived there for months before they were dismissed to either return home to Jima or to look for another home away from the terror-prone Boni Forest.
“I sat for my final national exam in another school and managed to score very high marks to secure admission at Mpeketoni Boys Secondary School. However, I did not report to the school because I had no fees and shopping for boarding. One month passed, while other students had reported [for] learning. My mother was not able to raise any money for tuition because she was doing menial jobs in Witu town getting peanuts, not even enough to buy food for us,” added Joseph.