I didn’t post about poverty on that day, though I did write a long comment on
We have to grow a tough skin in our daily life. There is no way that you can solve all the problems of everyone you meet, wave a magic wand and make it all better. You have to concentrate on helping a few people in as constructive a way as you can and get on with your lives. At the moment we are putting a lot of energy into our school, finding sponsors and fundraisers to keep it going into another year, so that as many children from disadvantaged backgrounds as possible can get an education that gives them a future.
The school provides them with a secure and stable educational environment but there is nothing we can do about their home lives. There is a long political history to these informal settlements that I won’t try to explain coherently here, but this one has a large proportion of people from the
Up till recently this has always seemed a relatively peaceful community, away from the tensions that affect some of the
This is all hearsay. I wasn’t there. We hear it from the domestic workers at Camphill, who philosophically shrug their shoulders and get on with their lives; from the children at school, a few of whom lost their houses in the night, and others who were afraid to go home after school, in case their house would be gone. We see the damage when we drive to school, where a second night of fighting and toitoiing has left the debris of bonfires in the middle of the road; where the school sign has been torn down and rest sadly half burnt at the side of the road; the new banner advertising registration month for the school that went up only that morning has disappeared altogether.
The atmosphere at school is unchanged, an oasis of calm, where these children who have had to learn resilience very young, can come and feel safe from the uncertainty that surrounds them.
We are looking for sponsors for many of these children. The school needs financial help to keep places available for them, so I’m putting the link to the school site to help spread the word. If you feel inspired to link to the site too or know someone who might be interested in sponsoring a child’s school fees, please do send the word out into the blogosphere. Every little bit helps give a child a chance to grow into a better future.
We're lucky.We only rub shoulders with poverty. Our children are growing up with an awareness of how lucky they are. Poverty isn't something that happens in far-off lands when you live in South Africa. The child next to them in class goes home to it every day. It is something that affects real people that they know well. I hope it gives them understanding and humanity as they grow up and I hope that I am learning it too.