It’s just after nine o’clock when I arrive at our bush school. It’s humid and we are sweating offloading the generator. I am carrying my laptop, printer, down loadable camera ….. and their is no visible sense of technophobia today. I am ready to register our more than 200 kids.
The kids off course were ecstatic with all the activity around. Everyone was ready to pose for their photo. I have been humbled many times in Mozambique ….. over and over again. But I was not ready for what I was about to experience today. As we were registering our kids (and believe me they were far beyond cute) I heard a baby cry. I thought that maybe some of our mothers accompanied one of our kids to school but the cry came from our Grade 2 class where we were taking photos of the kids. When I saw one of our students carrying a baby I got up (just a little bit annoyed – I mean I was hot, sweaty and wanted to quickly run through our 60 odd Grade 2 class) and asked the girl who’s baby it was. Her answer came just as quickly as some of her small friends around her: “I am now the mother”, she said with a cute smile. “How is that possible”, I asked.
I heard that her mom died not so long ago. Just after Christmas! Her mom did not see the new year. She explained that there was no one at home to look after the baby but she wanted to register herself for school today. And there she was ……. feeding a baby with her brother. She already took responsibility for the baby and her young brother. I nearly wept …… (ok I did!)
Here is a 8 year old girl that should play with dolls and experience a care-free life as a kid. Africa took that away from her. She seemed very content with her situation …… but it is still so wrong. Off course we helped and tried to find someone that would be able to look after the baby.
I think of our developed world. A story like this is absolutely unheard off. And yet …… it is happening …… in Africa …… again. It is so easy to be displeased with our own situations and small petty problems ….. until you are totally just humbled by a small 8 year old girl with a big smile!
Thank you all though for helping and sponsoring our kids. You make it possible for us to help kids like this and come up with solutions with the communities around us. We still need so many sponsors to help our kids through school – thank you for caring!