As we look forward to celebrating this year’s International Day of an African Child, we at Lift the Children can’t help but feel that this day is meant for us. Yes, we have proudly worked to support thousands of children in Africa since 2009 and each year we find more reasons to continue on with the work.
This year’s celebrations come at a time when the world is struggling to emerge from a pandemic that has wrecked havoc globally. COVID-19 has led to the loss of lives and livelihood, and has caused untold suffering for many. For our partners, The Charitable Children’s Institutions (Children’s Homes), this period has been a roller coaster of some sort. Children’s Home directors have woken up to being told by government officials to reintegrate children within the shortest time possible, yet no resources have followed those orders to make such reintegration possible. Simultaneously, they have received calls from those same government officials begging them to take in abandoned children whose parents have fallen victims to the pandemic in one way or the other.
As June 16th approaches, Lift the Children wants to mark this year’s International Day of an African Child by telling stories of resilience from across the 50+ children’s homes we support. One Story a Day—-Starting Today Until June 20th.
We hope these stories light up the world and inspire hope– that beyond suffering and the struggles– dawn will come.
OUR FIRST STORY IS FROM CHRIST CHAPEL CHILDREN’S HOME-https://www.liftthechildren.org/orphanage/christ-chapel-childrens-home/
IT’S ABOUT A BOY- NAMED BRAVE———(Not his real name)
My name is Mr. Brave. I lost my parents when I was 2-years old. They died in a road accident two years after my birth. (From what I hear, my parents were well up and we had a lot going for us). After their death, I was taken to live with my paternal auntie. She had kids of her own and since I was very tiny this should have felt like home already. However, things did not work out as they should have.
From the stories I have been told, my aunt’s real intention emerged shortly after she had me. She started to push to have everything that my parents owned in the name of taking care of me. When her efforts were frustrated, she quickly turned her anger on me. I was denied food, beaten up and left completely un attended to. The neighbour, a good pastor, rescued me. Fearing that something bad could befall me, the neighbor decided to take me to Christ Chapel, a new orphanage that had just been opened across the street. That marked the beginning of my journey living at Christ Chapel.
My life at Christ Chapel has been what I can explain as normal (in the sense that I understand my kind of normal). I have been used to having many brothers and sisters. Some come in for only a few days, others for months, while others have come and made this place home just as I did a few years ago.
While enjoying the love and support of Mama Gloria, and through the help of our wonderful director, I was able to go through primary education, where I did very well, and joined a secondary school afterwards. Life in high school was not easy. At some point I completely lost all self- motivation and purpose. I felt I was all alone in this world….I remember at that time, my grades took a serious hit and my performance at school dropped drastically. It was a very difficult moment for me….
I thank God that in her usual instincts, Mama Gloria was able to notice I was struggling. She took it upon herself to talk to me from time to time, even supporting my desire to switch schools.
Today as I write this, I look forward to celebrating International Day of an African Child. I have come of age. Secondary school is behind me and YES—–I scored a B+. As I sit here by the window in this big hall filled with beds, where both my younger and older brothers sleep, I reflect on what the future has in store for me. I look forward to going to University. I cannot wait to be there and pursue my dreams in civil engineering.
I know that the live I have lived has been the best life and there is not an opportunity to think things would have been different…. I look forward with hope.
Have a wonderful day and Happy International Day of an African Child.