Sibling reunification after tragedy

Thapelo came to the BDS Children’s Home after losing his mother at just eight years old. Thapelo’s older siblings cared for him after his mother passed away, but the oldest sibling was still a minor at the time. Thapelo developed some health issues that the family could not afford to care for, so they brought him to BDS through a referral from Beautiful Gate Children’s Care Centre.

From the moment he came into our care, Thapelo begged to be reunited with his siblings. He couldn’t understand why they abandoned him. We helped him get access to the medical resources he needed, but more than anything, Thapelo needed his family back. It took many attempts to track down where his siblings were living, but we eventually got in touch with his brother.

After we found Thapelo’s siblings, we were able to keep them in touch with each other by phone. Those were the highlights of the week for Thapelo. Then on the Easter holiday, we were able to reconnect them in person.

Everyone was overjoyed. Thapelo asked his siblings why they “gave him up” to the Children’s Home, and they explained that that was the only way to get him adequate medical care. We could see the relief wash over his young mind because he hadn’t been abandoned. He had been saved.

Thapelo’s siblings made all necessary arrangements with BDS and the Ministry of Social Development to have Thapelo visit his other family members for the first time. He made that trip shortly afterward and said it was “the most beautiful thing to happen to him this year.” Thapelo was able to meet his extended family members, and he said he finally felt like he was where he belonged.

In Basotho culture, family members often hold a ceremony to cleanse the passing of a loved one. Thapelo and his siblings participated in this ceremony to honor the loss of their parents. He said this shared experience strengthened their connection in a meaningful way. 

The siblings are working with the Ministry of Social Development to arrange for their brother to stay with them during school breaks. BDS will be there to support their journey and reunification as much as possible, just as we have for many other Lesotho children in need. 

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