Acts of Kindness
Women runs into old friend facing hard times and steps in to make a difference in his life
She made a difference in his life when no one else would.
Ian Carey

Imagine running into an old friend from school and seeing them in distress, without a home, and addicted to drugs.

That’s what Wanja Mwaura, a nurse from Kenya, experienced when she ran into her friend Hinga one day.

“Patrick, or Hinga as we called him, and I had met at primary school in 1992,” Wanja told the BBC.

“Hinga used to be a great soccer player all throughout school. We nicknamed him ‘Pele’.”

YouTube - NTV Kenya
YouTube - NTV Kenya

Hinga yelled out to Wanja as she was walking by.

She didn’t recognize him, however. He did not look like the boy she went to school with. He looked emaciated and disheveled. Hinga looked like a broken man.

“I decided then, that something needed to be done to help him,” Wanja continued.

Hinga was living on the streets.

He was estranged from his parents and had been living with his grandmother in a squat. After his grandmother died, however, his life spiraled downward.

He started abusing drugs, eventually moving on to heroin.

He had lost touch with Wanja long ago. It had been 15 years since they had seen one another and he had been homeless for 10 of those years.

Hinga would later say he sensed Wanja’s dismay at his condition and told her he only wanted to say hello.

She then offered to buy him lunch.

They went to a local cafe but Wanja said Hinga appeared distracted and was unable to speak in full sentences. She gave him her phone number and Hinga would call her from time to time and tell her he was committed to getting clean. Rehab in Kenya is very expensive, however.

“Rehab here is very expensive and I had no ways of raising funds on my own,” Wanja continued.

Wanja sought to raise the money to send Hinga to rehab.

“We set up a crowdfunding page, but we only managed to raise around 41,000 Kenyan shillings (£300) initially. However the cost of nine days rehabilitation at Chiromo Lane Medical Center in Nairobi was more than 100,000 KES.”

“I wasn’t sure how we would be able to cover this.”

Even though they didn’t yet have the full amount for his stay at the rehab center, Wanja took him there and he started his treatment.

Hinga starts to improve.

The center would later say that Hinga was a dedicated patient. He followed the program and began gaining weight. His concentration and ability to speak in full sentences began to improve as well.

“A week ago Hinga and I couldn’t hold a normal conversation without me trying to hold his head up with my hand in order for him to concentrate. Today we can have a normal conversation with him confidently looking at me,” Wanja will later write of Hinga’s progress.

Wanja and Hinga’s story goes viral.

The Kenyan media got wind of the traction the story was gaining online and began to cover it as well. This helped the crowdfunding efforts pay for Hinga’s continued treatment. He completed the program and couldn’t be more grateful for Wanja coming back into his life.

“Wanja is an angel sent from God. I owe her my life. She has stuck with me more closely than a brother or a sister,” Hinga said to the BBC.

Wanja too was grateful to have been in a position to help her childhood friend.

“People say I changed Hinga’s life, but he changed mine too.” says Wanja. “I realise now that a small act can change a person’s life.”

Learn more about this incredible story in the video below.

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By Ian Carey
Ian Carey is a contributor at SBLY Media.