After a good night’s sleep, we start right away, sensitizing in an orphanage called Joy Valley in a slum called Soweto after the South African province. What is the difference between a slum and the house I am living here, at walking distance from Soweto? Slums have semi-permanent buildings made of iron plates, no electricity, no water, no sewerage, in some cases like the infamous Kibera slum “flying toilets”. Where I live there is a toilet and one of the neighbours even has a tap so stocking up the water supply means only a 150m walk. And we have a tv so we can follow the news.
We walk to the orphanage, and I see real poverty there. The children have not eaten for two days, the dormitories are not plastered and I see a rat in one of the beds, the common room is not larger than a Western toolshed, they cook on woodfires since they can’t afford stoves or paraffine. The director guides me around the orphanage (see
From my donation they prepare chapati bread, which comes as a big surprise for the children. Of course I want to do something more sustainable than just feeding those kids on one occasion. And I hope that we can achieve just that with our sensitizing program and the publicity I can give them through my project.
When we are done telling the children about their rights, we invite them to watch a movie, which is a great success. 87 Children fit in the small community room, where I build up my pocket projector and start the movie Ice Age 3. The kids love it! A friend translates parts into Swahili and relates the action on the screen to the fundamental values we have told them about. I think we might have created a lasting memory for the kids. We have done so for ourselves, that much is true. Doing this is so rewarding!