Mark was born in 1992 in a family of three children , one brother and one sister, in the district of Kivu ( Goma) were the notorious rebel group led by the star-born general Laurent Nkunda is based. In 2008 at the age of 16 Mark together with about 12 boys from his village were abducted by the unsympathetic rebels and they were cow marched into the jungle where they were taught how to operate the deadly AK47 and tactics used by rebels to terrorize villagers,
According to Mark their first assignment was to carry out a deadly attack in their own village, rape and murder included. At first the boys refused to do things according to the command from the rebels and immediately three boys were hand picked for execution in front of them, they were told if they did not co-operate them too will be executed and the boys had no choice but to as the rebels wished, However the deadly assignment tasked to them was to give them a much needed opportunity to escape. Mark together with three others managed to escape from the rebels, for their safety the boys fled to neighboring Rwanda’s town of Gukond0. While there the boys live on the street for about a week, because of the traumatic experience they encountered under the rebels , they felt unsafe remaining in Rwanda since it was believed the Rwandan government was secretly supporting Laurent Nkunda. The young boys braved once again and hid themselves in a heavy duty track that dumped them in Tanzania’s capital Da es salaam.
From there on one of the boy suffered from a unknown illness probably malaria and he passed away and the other couldn’t accept a life with his family and he decided to go back home and look for his family. Life was hell again for Mark he felt more traumatized and hopeless that he once again risked his life and hid himself under the truck for weeks up until it arrived at South- Africa’s coastal town, but unfortunately for Mark it was xenophobia season in Durban and he found it difficulty to remain there, He said xenophobia reminded him of the rebels and the boys who were brutally executed in front of him. and he once again ran for his life this time hiding in the toilet for 26 hours train journey from Durban to Cape Town.
Hopelessly living on the streets of Cape town Mark was introduced to me by his country man and I introduced him to the Refugee VI football team, since then he had been positively engaged with the team and his life have taken a turn but his main goal still is going back to school.
(Please note that the name used on this story is not his real name, if you would like to help this boy get back school do not hesitate to contact me his real name will be given to you – This story can not be reproduced )