His name is Slinthe.
But, he hasn’t always been known as Slinthe.
You see, Slinthe has a unique story.
Slinthe was found asking for money on the street. When asked his name he’d reply “Poa,” which is Swahili for “fine.” This was his standard answer, and “poa” sounds a bit like Paul. Because of this, everyone thought his name was Paul. The interesting thing is that Slinthe was not able to speak Swahili, he didn’t even speak a language native to Kenya!
Police brought Slinthe to the children’s home where he now lives. There are so many details of Slinthe’s life that remain a mystery. If he’s asked where he came from, he’ll point in a certain direction. The location of his parents is uncertain. He doesn’t even have a birth certificate. In fact, his guardians at the children’s home are not sure of his exact age, so they guess. He’s now “five” years old.
Not all things are a mystery about Slinthe, though. The language he was speaking is most likely a language spoken in Rwanda. It is likely that he was brought to Kenya from Rwanda as part of a child trafficking ring. Children with disabilities are brought from other countries and forced to beg on the street. “Once he learned Kiswahili, he heard other children being asked their name and they would say their real name,” Alfred, Slinthe’s guardian, told us. So, Slinthe finally shared his real name with the children’s home staff and they learned that it was not Paul!
Slinthe actually learned Kiswahili in about three or four months, so communication with him is now easier. “You know, he’s quite bubbly,” Alfred said. Slinthe loves people and is kind of the leader among his friends. “He’s quite great,” Alfred told us. “He’s very clever.”
Along with his other challenges, Slinthe also came to the children’s home with bilateral clubfoot. He loves to play and run, but his condition causes him to fall down. Thankfully, God sent a board member to the school who had a connection to CURE Kenya where he received his first surgery. Now, Slinthe has come for his second procedure in the treatment process. “Slinthe wants to ride a bicycle,” Alfred shared. And once he’s healed, the children’s home will make sure this happens!
Slinthe may have come to the children’s home with a mysterious name, an unfamiliar language, and clubfoot, but when he leaves, he will go with a name that is known, a new language, and feet that he’ll be free to play and run on without fear of falling. God didn’t make a mistake when he allowed Slinthe to be found by the police. God didn’t make a mistake by allowing the children’s home to take him in. And he didn’t make a mistake by connecting him to CURE Kenya. God has beautiful plans for Slinthe and we are excited to just be a part of it!
About AIC CURE International Hospital
CURE Kenya has been a place of hope since opening its doors in 1998. We were Africa’s first orthopedic teaching hospital when it opened in Kijabe. More than just providing life-changing surgeries, CURE cares for the emotional and spiritual needs of all our patients. Our teaching hospital has 47 beds, four operating rooms, and an outpatient clinic.