*Bernardo Silva is a likeable young man who is full of life, promise and laughter. Looking at him, you can’t tell that Bernardo Silva is still on the run one year down the line. You can’t imagine that this is the same person who is being chased by 5 people he has stolen from.
“They say it takes a village to raise a child. These boys have lost their village for many reasons. We can now be that village so these boys grow to be strong young men.”– Heather Henderson, International Aid Worker & Humanitarian
At 4.5 feet tall, the ever smiling Silva isn’t your usual robbery with violence guy. In fact, all of his victims speak of how nice he is. They share how they handed over their valuables without being forced to. Silva is currently on the run. This is a reality that is difficult to accept.
Just one year ago, our staff met Bernardo Silva at Kamiti Youth Corrective Training Centre. Silva was one of our best computer students. What he lacked in terms of height he made up for with his charisma, poise and humility. Silva came out as someone who would flinch at the sight of someone killing a mosquito using an electronic fly catcher.
“James, Silva is one of the three boys we would highly recommend for your follow-up program,” Mr Manene Charles said. “Please look into this.”
We promised to do so.
We discovered that Bernardo Silva wasn’t going to find it easy in the outside world the day he exited juvenile prison. On their way home, Silva asked permission from his mom so he could go to the mosque. That was the last time his mom saw him for the next 3 months.
Finding Bernardo Silva
During the three months that Silva wasn’t home, we learned a lot of things. First, we discovered how his being away was affecting his mom. We would receive phone calls of distress from Silva’s mom. The calls came whenever his mom saw his ride on a motor cycle past his home without coming to visit.
Secondly, we discovered that Silva’s dad isn’t actively involved in the lives of his family. Of course, he is doing all he can to ensure they are provided for. He pays rent on time, ensures there is food and school fees is available. However, his wife and children seldom see him. He leaves home and comes back when they are fast asleep.
Thirdly, we learned that Lifesong Kenya was going to play a central role in Silva’s live. With Heather Henderson’s help, we were able to locate Silva. During our lunch meeting, we discovered that Silva was hiding from the leader of the gang he used to belong to. We were able to convince him that staying at his mom’s house would help his mom and family.
Fourthly, we learned that Silva needed to find a course so he could learn a skill. Before Silva exited prison, he shared his desire to learn auto repair and mechanics. This being so, we promised to help him find a garage that would take him in. Meanwhile, his family had to fund his auto repair course at a local training college.
Bernardo Silva is On the Run One Year Down the Line
True to their word, Silva’s family managed to find him a college. He soon begun learning how to repair and fix cars. Along the way, we discovered that Silva wasn’t very good at the theory part of learning. We contacted 5 Accessories Auto Repair and soon started working out on training program during the weekend.
Bernardo Silva was thrilled. We were glad to find a place where Silva could hone his auto repair skills. His mom too, was relieved and hoped that her son was finally turning a new leaf. However, this has not been the case. Silva has found himself slipping deeper into crime.
In the past year alone, Silva has committed numerous crimes. Though there are no visible scars to show the beating he has received from angry mobs, Silva is suffering. He needs urgent help that starts from his own initiative.
Four days ago, his mom and one of our staff visited the police station where he had been held. What we discovered sent shivers down his mom’s spine. There was no mention of Silva’s name inside the leafy Occurence Book at the police station. Instead, Silva had left his dad’s name at the police station!
Similar Post: I Wish I Knew My Son Was A Criminal Before He Turned 14
Fast Forward to August 31, 2019
I was on my home from yesterday’s session at YCTC when I received a call from Bernardo Silva’s mom.
“Did you receive my message?” she asked when I said ‘hello’. “I sent you a message yesterday at night.”
These days, I understand her need to dive into the subject of the call without saying hello. Most times, hello is all I get and have to debate whether I should call back or conserve my dwindling Safaricom credit.
As usual, the urge to call back outweighs the need to conserve credit.
“No, I didn’t receive your message,” I replied. “Can you resend it?”
“I don’t know how to send a message,” she said. “It is my son who sent it.”
“Okay,” I take a deep breath and summon all the calmness I need. “What was the message about?”
“Silva has been seen selling shoes in Kikuyu Town,” she continued. “Can you go and look for him?”
“What time does he start selling?” I asked, knowing that finding Silva will help me tie the loose ends.
“I don’t know,” she replied. “Let me ask his brother when he comes back. Can I give you the answer in the evening?”
Since Silva’s mom didn’t call in the evening and her phone is switched off, I have a decision to make. Seems like all roads will lead to Kikuyu Town today. Bernardo Silva is on the run one year down the line. And so am I. Both of us are on the run for different reasons. I hope that our path will emerge along the way.
Silva’s Re-Offending Cycle
30 days ago, I wanted to cycle for 133 days as I prepare for Half Way Cycle 2019. This year’s Nairobi to Migori Town cycling event, will be longer than the distance we cycled last year. Due to work commitment I have not been able to keep up with my daily cycling routine.
As a result, I have only managed to cycle 299 km this month. Going to Kikuyu Town provides me the opportunity to resume my cycling and finding Silva. Kindly let me know what you think and how best we can help Bernardo Silva.
I promise to keep you posted. In the meantime, I would like you to check out the video below. Please subscribe, like, comment and share as widely as you can.