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Smiles, hugs and kisses for Mama Angel

By unknown | Jul 19, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Lindi Obose

Lindi Obose

Childhood is the most beautiful period of our journey here on earth. It is the time when we learn many things and gain experiences that contributes to and influences our way to adulthood.

But the thoughts that go through an orphan's mind challenge imagination. An orphan yearns for his own family, and to spend at least one day with his loved ones.

How happy a child feels when his mother hugs him when he comes home from school and puts his head in her lap. A mom's love helps a child forget all the problems in his world.

Unfortunately, this is not the reality for many children in South Africa. It is also not the situation at the two places I visited last week in Alexandra, north of Johannesburg, and Ivory Park on the East Rand.

In Alexandra, we met Moses Mphahlele who looks after his two siblings, 14-year-old Paradise and seven-year-old Thabo.

Paradise and Thabo attend a boarding school and Moses is studying at a college. They have a two-roomed house that they inherited from their parents.

Many children who have lost their parents are taken to orphanages, but Moses decided to look after his siblings.

What they need most are clothes and money for their education. Moses was excited when we handed him blankets. We promised to visit again to meet Paradise and Thabo.

We then drove to Ivory Park to visit the Mathiyela girls, Thandeka, Zethu and Nosipho. The girls were very happy to see us, and hugged and kissed us. We bonded with them very quickly - especially with Thandeka.

The girls share a two-roomed house with their uncle, Vuyani Mathiyela. We sat outside waiting for their uncle who was taking a bath while the girls were playing with their friends.

The children appeared healthy and happy.

Finally, the uncle arrived. He looked pleased to see us.

He told us life was tough, but that the family survives on the money he gets from the tenants renting shacks in their yard and the government grants the girls receive.

The money helps him buy food and pay school fees for the three girls.

"People around here laugh at me and my situation and we will be glad if we can get our own place because this one does not belong to us," Mathiyela said.

When we collected the blankets from the car, the children's faces lit up.

Their eyes were bright and there was happiness on their little faces.

But for me, the blankets didn't seem as if we had done enough.

We watched the children and I knew that we had gained understanding and knowledge, just as the girls had received happiness.

I pray we never forget what we learnt last week. Both families also need bedding, food and clothes.


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