Thursday, 4 February 2010
"Give me my life back"
"We are still sleeping on the streets. Now at least we have a sheet to cover ourselves, but not much else." Soraja is just one of many who wait every day for the community to gather in her district and the arrival of the SOS bus. Food is distributed and the people immediately begin to cook communally.
"It's about more than just eating for us - we get together. It makes a welcome change that brightens up our everyday lives. After the meal the staff of SOS Children's Villages play with the children, and they laugh and dance together. This gives us and the children strength and confidence. We feel that we are not forgotten on the streets, and that someone is there for us.”
These are all things that families like Soraja's desperately need. Most of the children have coughs, worms and eczema from living on the street. There is an SOS Children's Villages nurse present at every visit so that essential treatment can be given.
In the days and weeks to come, SOS Children's Villages plans to extend these activities to the poorest districts, taking aid directly to the children. It will not just be a case of distributing food parcels, as the aim is also to empower communities to help themselves. And what's more, SOS Children's Villages can be sure that the food really reaches the ones that need it most urgently - the children.
Soraja sits at the side while her children sing and dance. Now and then a little smile flashes over her face, even though her eyes are looking beyond the moment into a future filled with worries. But these moments give her support and some hope, before she starts looking again for a place to sleep on the streets with her three young sons.