Tenderfeet Profile: Edwin Bosire

Sinaidah, Lavender, and Edwin

Sinaidah, Lavender, and Edwin

Edwin Bosire is one of our youngest students.  He is three years old and in our introductory class at Tenderfeet.

Edwin has lived his whole life in the Kibera slums and is the younger brother of two other Tenderfeet students.

His oldest sister Sinaidah is now in sixth grade, but attended Tenderfeet when she was younger.  The middle sister is Lavender, now in class two at Tenderfeet.

Almost everyone calls Edwin by his nickname, Edu (pronounced Ed-oo, the ‘oo’ sound is like that in soon).

He is very jolly in class, and loves singing and playing soccer.

I first became aware of Edwin through his sister Lavender, who is in our sponsorship program.  I noticed early last year that Lavender’s grades had dropped significantly.

When I asked Mama Margaret, she explained the family was going through a traumatic crisis that involved Edwin.

The introductory students at Tenderfeet. Edwin is in the second row to the far right.

The introductory students at Tenderfeet. Edwin is in the second row to the left.

The situation was that he had been in an extremely bad accident.

It happened when his mother was cooking, as all Kibera residents do, in a large pot on the floor in their small one-room home.  The pot was filled with boiling water.

Edwin was toddling around and tripped; in a split second, his mother saw him falling head-first into boiling liquid.  She reacted as quickly as she could, but was only able to push him partly out of the way of the pot.

Fortunately, his life was saved because if she hadn’t pushed him, he would have died for sure.  Sadly, he was still severely burned throughout his back, the side of his chest, and arm.

At the end of this article, there is a photo of Edwin’s burns. Please be warned that it is quite hard to look at, but does give an idea of the severity.

This kind of tragic accident is a byproduct of the living conditions of people in the slums, and happens all too frequently, including to Tenderfeet children.

For instance, current students Gillian Adhiambo, Ezra Oriosa, and Esther Ombuki have all had this kind of accident, though none as bad as Edwin.

Edwin was rushed to the hospital and thanks to the Tenderfeet Emergency Fund, received quality medical care.  The problem is that in the case of such extreme burns, the healing process is a long and painful one.

It was during the weeks following his accident that Edwin screamed and cried throughout the night in agony.  His mother and sisters were overwhelmed with the situation, which is when Lavender’s schoolwork was affected.

Meanwhile, Edwin’s oldest sister Sinaidah was also having seizures multiple times per week causing her to miss school.

Margaret was telling me at the time that the mother was overwhelmed with stress, guilt, and grief.  Fortunately, the Tenderfeet team counseled her and provided medical assistance.

Eventually, the wounds began to heal and Edwin started feeling better.  Even now over a year later, though, they have to be dressed every two weeks and itch regularly.

One main problem is on Edwin’s arm where the elbow bends.  The movement of the joint causes the wound to re-open, and prolongs the healing.

Fortunately, with good medical care, there is hope that he will recover and put this problem completely behind him.

Despite his discomfort, Edwin is doing great in school and is very active — sometimes too active for his own good.  The teachers have to keep an eye on him to make sure he doesn’t aggravate the wounds.

Also thanks to Lavender’s sponsor, we were able to get medical help for Sinaidah and she is now on medication that has caused the seizures to stop.

Margaret says that now Edwin’s mom is able to relax more and the family is past the worst part.  We are thankful that God has intervened through the loving work of Tenderfeet and kindhearted friends.

Edwin's burns have taken a long time to heal

Edwin's burns have taken a long time to heal. This photo was taken many months after the accident.

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