A Dream Come True
Red dust between my toes, insect bites plastered all over my legs, yet I’m the happiest I’ve been in a long time.
My dream has always been to help children who have lost their parents and this week I realised how this dream has become reality.
The hardest part of this week for me was when I asked the children a question about life before coming to Heaven Homes. The raw grief of losing their family is very evident two years on and will remain for some time as the children process what’s happened to them. The difference for them is that they are together with others, all in the same boat, all child Ebola survivors.
When asked about their life at Heaven Homes they were quick to list the wonderful opportunities they now have and how well they are fed and looked after by the aunties. They appreciate the opportunity to learn in a way that is so humbling. Many children wake up and study before heading to school at 7am. When they come home from school, they each pull their weight with chores, laundering their own clothes every day and fetching water. While we were there, they needed to fetch even more water – for us. That was humbling also. I tried picking up the bucket of water that 6 year old Doris was carrying on her head and I struggled to lift it myself. These children are strong, resilient and brave.
Facing a future having lost a loved one is hard enough, for many of these children, they have lost everything and everyone they know. I’m so grateful to be part of their new lives and homes. So grateful for the opportunity to support them and strengthen their care structure.
Living in the UK, the best way I can help them is to let others know about their situation and raise funds to continue to look after them, not just until they finish school, but as long as it takes for them to find their independence as they would in their paternal family. I wish I could be there more often. For now I need to be satisfied with short annual visits. This visit brought satisfaction and so much more. My heart has come home to the UK to see my own family but a piece of my heart will always be with them.
They are the reason the charity exists. These children, and others just like them all over the world for whom our support is a lifeline. Thanks to our Keep a Child family for your regular support. This enables us to offer long term help to these children until they are adults.
Changing lives for a brighter future.