Wednesday, 24 February 2010

A boy's face

Today was a hard day. I got up at 6 a.m. as usual, woke my next-door neighbour Edgardo, the Head of Finance from Guatemala, and then we set out for the airport. On every roadside you see people who have built small shelters with plastic sheets. Often, they join up to form a little tent village. The traffic was incredibly heavy today, as ever, and the UN soldiers were trying in vain to bring order to chaos. So we were stuck, unable to move forward, and this is when we witnessed a terrible scene. Three men were standing guard in front of one of these tent villages, armed with sticks. A boy of about twelve came running up and tried to enter the tent village to get food and water. He was completely emaciated, and his clothes were all torn. When the boy refused to give up, the men started beating him, without any hesitation. They kept beating even though the boy was bleeding badly. The boy wouldn't give up, and kept trying to get into the tent village. Eventually, covered in blood, his strength ran out. He dragged himself to the next street corner, and when I got there to help him, he was gone. You see horrible things here every day, but what I saw today is by far the worst. How desperate can grown men be to beat a twelve-year-old boy half to death? I can't get the boy's face out of my head. And although we now provide food and water to 14,000 children daily, it's just difficult to accept that we can't help all of them.

1 comment:

  1. Louis - what a haunting image.... as you say, it is hard to admit that you can't help everyone; but every one that you do help is one more child who otherwie might not have had any help...