22 years old.
One of the students in the Lighthouse program (run by the WMF team).
After living on the streets, he joined Lighthouse and was involved for 6 years and graduated in 2007.
He studied to be a tailor–specializing in women’s clothes and bags.
Faye Yu wrote this article about Sheku…
” We go on walking tours of Freetown with many of our visitors and the boys serve as our guides, taking us through some of the burned-out, condemned buildings where they used to live. When we go with them to the busier parts of town, one boy walks in front and another behind, like bodyguards protecting us and our things from some of their “friends” who steal in that area. Our boys know all the tricks and are observant of the things around them.
Now our boys are learning to be carpenters and tailors. They can walk with their heads held high; they are not alaki (Krio swear word meaning “good for nothing”) like so many
people call them, but dearly loved princes of their Papa God. They are designing beautiful clothes, bags and blankets from fabric, and crafting doors, tables and crosses out of
wooden boards. They are little creators, living out their imago dei, the creator image of God in them.
During a Lighthouse meeting a couple of months ago, the manager of one of the offices in our building came in, furious. He told us that one of our kids had urinated outside
his office, and he demanded one of them go clean it up. When I asked him how he knew that it was one of our kids, he laughed at me and said I don’t know anything about the character of street kids. When I asked the boys about it, they all denied responsibility. The man did not believe them. The kids were angry and humiliated about being blamed for something they didn’t do, and the manager was unyielding in his demand for someone to clean up the urine.
As the tension escalated, I didn’t know what to do. If I asked our boys to clean the mess, it would be like siding with the manager. However, not doing it could create problems
with the hall usage. Sheku, one of the young men who is involved in our tailoring apprenticeship program, overheard our conversation and asked where the mess was. He quietly told the manager that he would go clean it up. Both the manager and I stood stunned at the humility he displayed. The tone of the manager softened as he began to see our kids in a different light – no longer as alaki street kids, but human like himself. In that one act, Sheku restored the Lighthouse boys’ humanity – ” (Faye Yu)
This is Sheku.
And we’re going to be a small part of his life.