Three strikes and you’re…..IN!

Three strikes and you’re…..IN!

This is a personal letter written from Christopher, an HHFL youth

Dear Mama Hanne, Baba Ted, HHFL Staff and siblings and to all the donors who make HHFL possible:

Finally my stars seem to be aligning; God knows its about time. It has been a long, hard and exhausting journey mainly because I made it harder than it needed to be.

HHFL has given me way more than my fair share of chances. I quit high school during my second year citing mediocre reasons but Mama Hanne, being forgiving gave me another shot and agreed to pay for vocational school (automotive mechanics) for me. I blew it in an unapologetic manner and decided to try my luck in the streets.

For two gruelling years they (the streets) were relentless and unforgiving. But that is the thing about exhaustion, you just want to try a different way because the old one, well it is just old and not working anymore. That is when I finally started to comprehend that if I wanted a future I would have to change my ways and approach.

I needed another chance! I promised myself this time it was going to be different so unsurprisingly, I crawled back to HHFL to beg for another chance. After one unforgettable hair drier moment, Mama Hanne softened her heart one more time for me. They say the third time is a charm, right? well it was, at least for me.

HHFL had strict rules and curfews for me. I lived in the hostel and helped take care of the little ones, I helped in the kitchen, I helped clean the compound and helped with the garden. It was a tough year but I was finally able to embrace this third chance completely.

I went back to High school and this time surprised myself and everyone else by actually seeing something through for once in my life! It was long overdue.

Since high school I have worked as a casual labourer in the construction industry and as a steward in a restaurant in The Village Market. This last job has opened doors for me broadened my horizons. I learned about bar tending and have my sight set on becoming a sommelier (wine connoisseur).

These are not the easiest nor the best paying of jobs by any means but keeping my eyes on the prize, I managed to save enough to enable me to pay for my own college tuition fees.  Along the way, aside from gaining invaluable job experience, I’m also receiving a refresher course about respect, adherence to rules and regulations and the importance of principles and values, which is something HHFL puts a lot of emphasis on. All I have done over the years is take from HHFL and its donors and this sits heavy on my heart.

Being able to pay for my own college fees and transport is a welcome relief, which fills me with pride and confidence. Currently I am applying for a job in the hotel industry as a bartender and you get the feeling that something’s gotta give and its only a matter of time. I like my odds right now.

Last but not least I would like to apologize to Mama Hanne, Baba Ted, our donors, my mom and the HHFL fraternity at large for all I have put you through. I promise I will stay the course and become a strong role model who makes HHFL and its donors proud. Thanks a million for not giving up on me and for being there when I needed you most

Thanks also go to the Lord for making HHFL believe in second and third chances! This is why I am looking at a bright future right now instead of being in jail or worse.

I am looking forward to making all of you proud and rewarding all of you for believing in me and sticking your necks out for me.

Love you all, Chris

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