November 4th, 2018
2 years young, her tiny hands clamped around a hard piece of whitebread, seated in a dark and warm metal shack. The child looks cross eyed. She is obviously not well. She sufferes from the Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) and statistically may have also been affected by Aids. FAS entails a host of problems, all caused by alcohol abuse by her mother during her pregnancy. Tamara, a lovely young lady willingly yet also somewhat ashamed shows us her 20m2 home housing 8 people. Tamara is her mother. Father: unknown.
Just a few days ago the monthly paychecks or small governmental handouts were received. No better day for a drink than pay-day. The sun is getting hot. Everywhere empty beer bottles, glass and loads and loads of rubbish. We are in the poorest township of Ritchie.
The wind is blowing up sand and dust. Right through some of the least well built shacks. Reminds me of Lou Reed: “The answer is in the wind”. I don’t see the answer. The XS4ALL crew, Ton and Antoinette are off to church.
“Yesterday, one if our fellow parishioners committed suicide. Deep frustration, seeing no way out preceded his action. Frustration of not seeing the light, not having the answer. Jesus -not politicians- gives hope, the strength to carry on. Jesus shows us the way.” What -if not faith- carries the people living in the shacks of Ritchie?
Tomorrow we start our XS4ALL “Train-the-Trainer internet courses in the beautifully rebuild EyeforOthers training center at 8am.
We’re dying to make a difference. To possibly provide one answer.