It feels so good to be back at work. I missed the innocent, shy, smiling faces of the children we reach out to. They are full of life, their energy bursting to levels that amazes me. Their curious look as you go up to them to say hello is priceless. They are happy innocent souls.
I watch in fascination as the women who work with these children coax them out of their shells to talk about school and what they had learnt that day. All they want to do is play and enjoy their childhood.
The little ones have their Community Based Child Centres. They sing, play, pray, sleep and eat porridge. The older ones have their children’s corner which is purely dedicated to play. They sing, dance, play sports and just have the time of their lives.
Watching them play and interact, it breaks my heart to hear of stories of children who have been abused, defiled, and have had their spirit broken. The story of a woman who burnt her child’s hands because she stole food that was meant for the whole family; a step father who defiled a one–year old baby; a scam orphanage where a man paraded children as orphans just so that he could benefit from them; an estate owner who employs 9 year olds to work the whole day and lets them go for days without food.
Every day, a child is a victim of some sort of violence. Early and forced marriages, child labor, early pregnancies and lack of parental support on child education. Reading and hearing about stories like these fills me up with anger.
I wait and hope for that day when every child lives in a safe environment, has 3 meals a day, goes to school, has shelter, clean water, good health and a fun-filled childhood.
It gives me great pleasure to hear of the sponsors who for years have been sending aid for these children. It gives me hope when I talk to volunteers in the communities who dedicate their time to help these children. My heart fills up with gratitude when I see our ActionAid staff working ceaselessly for these children to have a better life.