The last day we visited a children’s home managed by a church. I think they said 50 children lived there both girls and boys. They had one boy aged 2 1/2 years, but the normal age range was 6-18 years. They went to a school in the neighbourhood and we visited that as well.
We were all surprised how close to minimum the children’s home was, brick houses with corrugated roof. No insulation or AC made the rooms very hot in the summer. Sleeping quarters with 12 bunk beds in poor condition and a few shelves and chests for clothes.
Annah had the shelf on the picture and the leader told us that this was all Annah owned. She came barefeet wearing just a t-shirt and a skirt and that was all she had. Now she had a bit more, but compared to the amount of clothes a Norwegian girl would have it is not much. They were completely depending on gifts, so the rest of my South-African rands ended up here. We asked where they did their homework and that was done all together in the room used for eating, for TV-watching (they had a TV given by the Swedish embassy), library and everything else they did together. So there could be 30-40 kids doing homework in the same room.
We were told that the local Africans considered us to be very rich, and after seeing this I felt like it. The world is definitely not fair, and I really admire those who are managing this home. Solidarity in practise. I really wish and hope that our developement help could reach children and those who take care of them.
We also visited the school the children went to and again the difference to Norway was huge. They had around 150 student in five classrooms, but only one teacher. The teaching for the younger students was mainly done by the best older students.
Here is the “teacher” for the students on the last picture. Most of the teaching was done in their local language but they also learned English.
I was filled with mixed emotions after these two visits. I was filled with admiration for the people who worked with so small resources with the children. On the other side a sense of hopelessness. We saw between 100 and 200 kids, but i South-Africa there were probably several hundered tousands in the same situation. Is the country able to help them to a life in dignity or is it a future enormous social problem ?