5th March 2014
My first few days have been such a challenge, although I have been welcomed back to the community like a family member. Staff are still well organised and working well with children who have some terrible challenges to meet, even though they are supported by their amazing sponsors.
This morning I was woken by some soft calling of my name. Teddy Achola was crying outside my window at 7.00am. These children do not cry easily and yet these are the third lot of tears I have seen in 2 days. When I finally roused I saw a sad and swollen face, she had toothache. The diet here consists of so much sugar, taken for energy, but many people are not aware that this substance is responsible for so much of their dental problems.
This was followed by Ronald getting up after feeling so sick and having a headache last night. He even missed supper but declared himself fit enough to go to his training today. That's my boy.
Gloria then visited with her mum. Gloria was raped last year and it has really disturbed her education. Her result were not as good and she is worrying about going to school because she thinks she will fail. We established that her English Comprehension is poor and prevents her from understanding her teachers. Some assessment and lessons booked in with the best English teacher in this area (me). Praying that she will improve and regain her confidence.
Then came Isaac and his wife and baby Merci. Isaac trained with OSAAT and is now working but his boss has not paid him for 4 months. His rent is due and his landlord is threatening to lock them out of the house on Friday. Plans to go with him to his boss made.
Sarah then came, she was trained as a knitter and a machine bought. Sarah was another person who cooked for 2 priests for 3 months without being paid. One day she went to work and they had locked up and gone. Religious leaders? There are many like that here. She worked in a hotel while she continued to get a knitting contract. Her son broke a cooking pot and she was not paid so the cost of the pot would be covered. She wants to send her son to school but does not have the money. OSAAT does not sponsor the adult and then the child. Sarah has approached the sons school and will knit their sweaters and they will deduct her sons school fees from her payment. I gave her a gift of money to buy wool to knit a sample and a loan to buy thread for another contract obtained. She will cook casava chips early in the morning to raise money for their feeding while she knits for the rest of the day.
Then came Joel, he had cried so seriously last night when I met him for the first time since arriving here. I had to leave him in order to get back to the office, due to recent security scares, before dark. He came today to say he cried tears of happiness to see me but was so worried that he would never see me again. You can imagine the hugs!!!!
Then Peter arrived at the office having walked 12 miles because he is sick. He is thin saying he has pain and headaches, has lost his appetite. He will stay with me tonight and be off to the hospital with staff early morning.
Other visitors included Aron who has some cultural problems which were sorted and a lady asking for work. Not bad for a mornings work. Ronald stays with me in the office and he is a dream person to share home with. He is so serious about training and we talk and listen to music, do paper mache in preparation for my birthday party on Sunday. There seem to be so many people coming not sure what we are going to do but I am making a pinata???? pass the parcel, whacko with sweets, music, dance….