Thursday – October 2st
If I am very honest… This was a very strange day. I will explain my title to you.
We began our day at Ndlovu. As I have told you we are going to do our research about the child headed households. What are child headed households? They are children who are the oldest of the family. Both of their parents have died from AIDS or the mother has died from AIDS and the father has left the family. So they are responsible for all their brothers and sisters. Sometimes the child headed have their own children as well. This means they are responsible for their siblings as their own children. You can imagine this is a very heavy if you are a girl of 15 years old.
This morning we visited all these child headed households to deliver them food, because they haven’t enough money to buy food. We deliver them bags of ‘SAMP’. This is a kind of mais porridge. Our mentor, Ruth, drove us because our care would not be able to travel these bumpy roads..
We travelled at the back of ‘the bakkie’. Haha, that was a rollercoaster on itself, my gosh……
The first house we visited was a house of a family which was taking care of two children. (The uncle of the mother) The mother of these children is mentally ill. She put the house on fire and ran away. She left her children in the burning house. This was a very heavy story to hear, as you can imagine.
Ndlovu is making a new house for this family.
The second house we visited was a house which is also made by Ndlovu. There is a boy of 17 years living in this house with his 14 year old brother and sister of 4 years.
This is a very big responsibility for the brother. He has not enough time to earn enough money, do the shopping and cook for his family. That’s why Ndlovu helps them.
The 3th and 4th house we saw where houses of too families. Both their mothers died of AIDS and their father left them behind. One house is for the girls and in the other house there are three boys living.
It was special to see what the friendship of these siblings are. They just have each other so they better make the best of it.
The last house we visited was a new Ndlovu-house for this girl of 14 years of age. Both parents have died and she was taking care of her 2 brothers and 2 sisters. She was taking care of these children in an old shed. She was also caring a baby on her back. Ruth told us this was her own baby.. Last year she was raped by this guy who has raped a lot of girls in the neighbourhood. We just heard he has bin found by the police.
In the beginning she didn’t want the baby but a few months ago she decided she does want to take care of her own baby. So Ndlovu decided to built a new house for them.
These coming few weeks we are going to try to help these damaged girls. We are going to try and help them by ‘Arts Therapy’ and ‘Social Work’.
As I have also told you all, Ndlovu Care Group is set up by my uncle and aunt. We will be living in their house for the coming 3 months. My lovely niche, Emma, lives here too.
In South-Africa they have this big tradition if you are finisth with your secondary school. The year below you organizes a big prom and everybody arrives in different ways at the prom. The theme of this year was ‘Elegance’.
The four of us where invited to see all the girls and boys arrive. Wauw, you would never see the likes of this in The Nederlands..
You can imagine this was a very strange day for us… From one side of Africa to the other.
A talked about this with my uncle and he said: ‘Well Milou, you know.. This is part of the game. You cannot take care of people if you don’t take care of yourself. Sometimes you need these evenings to fill you up. To give you strength to go on and be able to support people that really need the support!’
I still find it hard, but I guess what he is saying is true. You are not able to help someone if you are not stable yourself.
I always think of the example in the plain: ‘If your plane crashes, First of all give yourself oxygen, after that you are strong enough to help your children!’