Day 4: Our orphan is position ONE!
Malindza Village day! Our amazing teacher gave me all of our student’s reports. Mpendulo – our extremely hard working orphan – made position ONE! I couldn’t have been more proud. This little boy’s mother died when he was only 6 months old and now, at 6 years old, his father is dying too. He’s been bed ridden for the last month and hasn’t been getting any better. Mpendulo, now basically alone, still attends school daily and always has a huge smile on his adorable face. His school shoes fell apart from all of the walking so he’s been coming bare foot. We bought him a new pair as a graduation present! He also got a brand new bookbag from my sister-in-law Kelly. Along with our other orphaned students (thanks Kelly for your bookbag drive, the kids LOVED them… one boy said he was happy to no longer have to carry his books in his cardboard box he had been using).
Then we did an art project with the pre-school children. My Aunt June donated drawstring backpacks and fabric markers. To be honest, there were only 2 of 10 artists in the group… the rest of the children created blobs or a single straight line across their bag and called it a masterpiece. But they all had fun and now have a bag to carry their belongings to and from school!
We then delivered food to our Go-go headed homes. These are homes where the grandmother’s children have all died and now she is left to raise the grandchildren with no job, no money, no husband, and no resources. The one granny had a pot of water boiling. I asked her what she was cooking. She said that she was not cooking anything. That she put a pot on and prayed to God for food and just as she was grabbing her wheel barrel to go around the village to beg, we arrived with rice, beans, mealies, brown sugar, cooking oil, fish, baked beans, peanut butter, and chicken stock (Thanks Mitali/FOODOM). Another grandmother was very drunk. She was almost incoherent. She lives alone in a small hut with our student, her grandson. The teacher told us that when the grandmother is drunk, she beats our boy. He stays late at school and then idles around the village in hopes that when he gets home his grandma is passed out. He is only 6 years old. Life is tough for our children, even when they have a “caretaker” it isn’t easy.
We then went to our neediest homesteads where the go-gos are raising their orphaned grandchildren even without a decent home. The corrugated iron roof consistently blows off in the wind. The dirt/rock walls are in a constant state of erosion leaving holes in every wall. They hang sheets and cardboard on the walls to try to prevent rain from coming in while they are sleeping with little success. The teacher said that our twins always come to school asking if they can sleep on our floors to avoid the rain. Neither home has a toilet either. The children have to hike into the bush to relieve themselves. When my mother-in-law and father-in-law arrive at the end of December, we are going to build two new homes and toilets for these hardworking go-gos and their ever deserving orphaned grandchildren. If you’d like to donate toward this project, you can mail a check to GHFP 2436 N Alabama Street, Indianapolis IN 46205 or you can do so online: http://www.ifightpoverty.org/donate.html