Tuesday, 16 February 2010

"God has something in store for me"

David grew up at the SOS Children's Village in Santo. He is the only one of this biological family who survived the earthquake. Still not able to understand what happened, he finds emotional refuge at the SOS Children's Village and supports the emergency relief efforts.

We are on our way to a community centre to give out water and food. David is 24 years old. He is sitting next to me and as the drive to the centre takes 40 minutes, he starts to tell me his story. David has been living in the SOS Children’s Village in Santo for almost all his live. When he turned twenty, David decided to go to university and study English. He moved in with his biological brother, his uncle and his aunt. In the morning of the 12th of January, he left early to go to university. He said good-bye to his family and then left.

His classes finish at 4:30 pm and he normally needs 15 to 20 minutes to his house. This day was different. The streets were crowded and the bus got stuck in traffic. At 5 pm David was in the bus and felt the earth moving. "God has something in store for me, he didn’t want me to die." David is the only one of his family who is still alive. When the earth stopped moving, David jumped out of the bus and ran all the way to his house. What he found was nothing but stones. He began to dig with his bare hands, but soon realised that it made no sense. "Four years ago I reunited with my family, just so the damn earth can take them away from me again!" David is now crying and shakes his head. He still can’t believe what happened.

He stayed a week at his house, slept in the street and then came back to the SOS Children’s Village. He knows that he can always come back to the village when he is in troubles as the director is like a father to him. In the SOS Children's Village he lives with the other young adults in tents. He and the other "villagers", as they call themselves, have organised themselves and help distributing food to the communities. "As villagers, we are blessed, SOS Children's Villages has giving me so much, and now maybe I can at least give something back." His biggest wish is to give his family a proper funeral and to create his own family and build a house that cannot be destroyed by any earthquake.

Text by Louis Klamroth

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