The intimidating list of to-dos is steadily being whittled down, leaving only the chores I am avoiding (meningitis shot), and the trivial things (update housesitting document with a paragraph about Mendoza’s frequent barfing). I leave in eight days.
I spent some time this morning reading documents sent by the Loaves and Fishes Network. They paint a grim picture of the living conditions in the Eastern Cape, the poorest province in the country. Poverty, AIDS and HIV, unemployment, inadequate infrastructure, high number of child-headed households, high suicide rates, drug and alcohol abuse, violent crime… The LAFN states that these factors are preventing children from enjoying normal childhoods (enough food, care, stimulation, guidance, safety), and the organization is trying to remedy that through the development of a sustainable and cost effective model to respond to the needs of these kids. The “loaves and fishes” idea is that there is enough for everyone.
“We need to elevate all children to the entitlement of a full, stimulated, normal childhood. It’s a birth right, and if their parents fail, we as a community must step in.”
– Dr Trudy Thomas, Chairperson
This just seems so basic and on-point. I am really excited to meet these folks and to be able to contribute to the work.