School children hurt by eviction at Red Hill

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By MICHAEL LAI
THE eviction of settlers at Red Hill settlement around Gerehu in the National Capital District has psychology affected hundreds of school going kids residing there.
Slenky Yamson, 10, of Chimbu parentage said he was sleeping outside without any form of shelter, uniform and could not be able to attend St Pauls Primary school at Gerehu.
The settlement was homeless last week when two bulldozers damaged all houses within a day’s operation under police escort.
Missionary and a leader Joe Tonde was so worried that it had affected the children who were not going to schools.
Tonde presented them three boxes of canvas to create shelter so children and mothers could at least rest there.
He also donated cash to compliment other needs.
During this visit, The National asked Slenky of his feeling.
He came with smiles and bit of laughter in the presence of his fellow children.
“When I returned from school on Monday afternoon, he started telling his story, I was planning to fetch water, get it ready for preparing dinner and do my school work in the evening.
“I reached Red Hill, every house and tree were not there where they used to stay.
“I went onto locating my house,” he cried bitterly saying the iron roofing of his house were under ground.
He could not talk anymore. His body shivering and tears fall like water droplets down his chin.
“All my uniforms were under ground with my house,” he said.
“Now I don’t have a house, not even a canvas to build ourselves a shelter.
“My parents are not going for their normal business.
“I am not going to school.
“We are like in a house-cry. And I as a child, I could not make up my mind to go to school.”
Community chairman Andrew Anuma said Slenky was one of the innocent victim among many children from the settlement who were attending elementary to secondary schools.
Anuma said only few children with school uniforms were attending while those without uniforms were still there outside where their houses used to stand.
He said there were 200 to 250 houses made underground by two bulldozers affecting almost 2000 people.
The victims of the eviction, especially school children needed help to return to school.

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