Four mentally challenged and physically disabled orphans rescued

Sahajanand special school caretakers assist physically and mentally challenged children who had been abandoned after a children’s home owned by an Australian national was shut down.The four had been tossed from one Government rescue centre to another before being dumped at the doorstep of Ian Castleman, despite a court ruling closing his orphanage. Sahajanand, a school sponsored by Mombasa Cement, rescued the children after their plight was highlighted by ‘The Standard’. [PHOTO:KIPSANG JOSEPH/STANDARD]

An Australian national whose children's home was shut down by government four years ago and more than100 orphans thrown out broke down in tears as four mentally challenged and physically disabled children were rescued.

This was after staff and management of Sahajanand, a special school in Mombasa came to their rescue, a few days The standard highlighted highlighted their plight. The four had been tossed from one government rescue centre to another and finally dumped at the door of Ian Castleman despite a court ruling closing the orphanage.

The team led by Partick Mzungu, the school's head teacher said they learnt of the four plights through the media and decided to travel for 690kms to Molo, Nakuru County to rescue them. Last year, the same team rescued eight-year-old boy who was chained to a tree for more than three years at Cheptunoyo village in Nginyang, Tiaty.

"They will be taken through and elaborate medical examination, given the required food, shelter and educated. Mombasa cement fully supports the Institution. They have really suffered but that has come to an end,'' said Mzungu.

Interestingly, area administrators kept them waiting for more than two hours, forcing Castleman to hand over the four physically disabled and mentally challenged without any government official.

"I have cried day and night as I see them suffer, I exhausted every coin and property I had to see them survive and today, I thank God for answering my prayers. Kindly take care of them like your own children,'' Castleman said in the brief handover ceremony.
The rare ceremony held at his premises saw the four cleaned and dressed by their 'mother' Margaret Akinyi Awuor. Before they boarded the bus, Sahajanand caretakers gave them food and drinks.

This is God, for four years, we have cried and prayed and we thanked the media for sharing out troubles with the rest of Kenyans and the world,'' she wept before boarding the bus also.
Mombasa cement operational manager, Gulamu Salim said the company will settle six months' salary arears for her after Castleman's suffered financial crisis.

Castleman recalled the tough times that led to the closure of his orphanage and the struggles he has gone through with the four after they were brought back and abandoned by a children officer.
"At some point, a children officer from Molo told me to take them to a street and abandoned them when I sought their assistance. The encounter was very painful and I decided to return home heartbroken,'' narrates Castleman.

"I was warned against having orphans and disabled children at my orphanage, I was to be arrested if found with any, those I had were taken away but when these four were retuned I was asked to take care of them failure to which I was to be arrested and prosecuted,'' he said amid sobs.

Salim assured him that 'his children' children were in safe hands and was welcomed each time to pay them a visit.

According to the operational manager, the new home and school currently hosting more than 800 children and adults with disabilities also have 37 special need teachers under Teachers Service Commission.

Ironically, Abdi Yusuf, a children's officer described them as adults with nothing to do with his office. "Those you are talking about are adults and nolonger children. My office only deals with 17 years and bellow,'' he said.

The Australian missionary established the orphanage at his private property in Molo but the court ordered it shut and children distributed in orphanages across the country in 2012.
Castleman revealed that the four were taken to a government facility in Maralal and were later returned and abandoned by his compound by state officers who said they could not manage their needs.

He took them with him and had to provide for them despite his bankruptcy. He depended on well-wishers and at times begs online to have people sympathize with his condition.

He had managed to care for others who are now group ups and earned a living through doing casual jobs that supplied him with foodstuffs and gave him moral support as he was giving up.
He claimed he had spent close to three million; money he said was savings and contribution from his mothers and relatives.

"I took the four with me after they were brought and dumped by my compound as I couldn't let them die, someone had even said I dump them to the street," said Castleman.