Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Help Age: Sheltering the Unsheltered

It is Sunday, yes it is a sun-day but now it is setting, when I was young, we used to sing a goodbye song to the sun before inviting the moon for night plays. It was marvelous, it is unforgettable gone memories! Today things are different, as the sun started to set, I started a trip to meet this 100 years old Mom, she is living about 4km from where I am living. She lives with her granddaughter; she is 14 years old and an orphan.

The sun now was in its late hours when I arrived in this hut where this lonely mom lives, I need not to nock at the door since the door is open. I decide to take a quick glance at the room, I find her leaning toward the local made cooker, and she is warming her self since it is now getting cold this evening. She invites me in with a muted voice, she is so welcoming but it seems something has happened; her face is full of wrinkles.

I greeted her in her mother language; Kamwene; I am not very much familiar to this language and she is not very good in Swahili which I speak most, so our communication becomes a bit limited. Apart from the grand-daughter there is another person, a brother of this little girl who does not frequently live with this Mom but tries his level best to provide them with basic needs; not shelter.

We start our conversation where this boy acts as a translator between me and her, she tells me a lot. To find out how old she is I decide to ask explorative questions, in many tribes, their culture does not allow them to tell their age! She tells me that, during the WWI she was a young lady and that she remembers all that what happened by that time!

She was married to a man of her tribe and had eight children among whom four a still alive. She knows not how to read and count but she understand facts and can explain the event in relation to another event, example, she says, her first born was born during heavy rain season!!!

The most touching and hurting story she tells is complaining about her remaining children, they no longer take care of her, since I entered in this hut, she showed how much she was unsatisfied with this shelter she is sheltering in! It is a two rooms hut; she uses the front one as a bedroom, sitting room and kitchen with her grand daughter, the inside one is used by this boy as the bedroom and store.

Unintentionally, I ask her, what can I help? Her answer touches me down bottom of my heart, I feel tears comes to my eyelids; she points to this hut and tells me; this is kind of shelter I will DIE in! My response to her question is what is seen on this photo, though I have nothing much but I decided to shelter her before she leaves the world as it has been her great demand

My aim of writing this article, is not to disclose personal life of a person neither to show what I have given but to remind the community that; there are people who need our attention, assistance, care and love, that is a forgotten and denied age of those who have brought us to here we are and who we are today; but this is also a person concern of serving my community to shelter those who are unsheltered. Before the sun set today, before you reach at the same age and rejected, think and ask yourself how much you have given back to the community, back to the aged person, if she is treated like this today, ask yourself; who is next? Isn’t you? Your Mom, sister, daddy or…..! Help Age shelter the unsheltered.

GOD bless you.

Friday, September 4, 2009

OVCs: The Lost Hope?

Orphans and vulnerable children have been and is still a hot issue surrounding the community in many developing countries as is with the case of Tanzania.
For a couple of years now, so many centers have been established to serve these children but as the matter of fact, the problem has been expanding as if those centers do not exist.

Nature of OVCs

The problem of OVCs in our communities have been the result of many factors but for this case, several factors are vivid, and these including the following but not limited to it.

The Impact of HIV/AIDS

This article will not attach any statistical documents regarding the Impact of AIDS in the community instead, it will generalize since every community is and or have been touched by the problem.

The impact of AIDS have left so many families with no father or mother or both and in many cases, other families have perished. Most of the families where there are survivors, are children who at the time of their birth, their parents were negative but later they are attacked by the disease, suffering and dying leaving number of homeless children or going to live with their grandparents who have nothing to feed these children. Therefore, children flee from home to look for bread.

It is true that, many communities and societies especially in developing countries have witnessed the separation of families, It is now becoming normal for a father or Mother to divorce and leave the innocent children suffering or running away from their families, so many literatures narrates about the problem. The result is; the community witnesses the increasing number of OVCs.
What causes and why Divorcing is still unknown although there are some written documents regarding it but there is no actual reason for divorce only being that, one side complaining that, her/his partner was not the right person she/he wanted to be with! Sometimes, the problem is associated with the economic reasons. we can simply conclude that, divorce is just like a setting sun for the children

Lack of Guidance & Counseling services

Guidance and counseling seems to be a new thing in our societies today but in reality, it existed even longer before only that it was done by elders only where the matter/problem existed and it involved only few participants. Guidance and counseling lost it necessity somewhere but soon after the emergency of AIDS guidance and Counseling aroused; this time associated with HIV/AIDS only for individuals wishing to go for testing.

As the matter of fact, now the community especially at family level live in great frustration to the extent that, a family member can decide whatever s/he thinks is okay, such condition has also contributed to the lack of children’s necessary needs leading them to live under vulnerable conditions.

The Case of Civil Wars

Civil wars have been there ever since, where civil wars exist, children always becomes the victims of the wars where most of them are being used not employed in armies, raped and killed. For the few who manages to flee from fighting, they end up living in horrible conditions, frustrated and having no hope for tomorrow.

Lost Hope?
Yes of course, me and you have contributed in loosing hope to these OVCs, the reason is open. Take a minute, close your eyes, try to backup your memories, retrieve the hardly. Now, tell yourself how many times you volunteered in community services to serve OVCs? How many times have you ever thought of sharing the little you have with them? How many times you prayed for them and encouraged them?

Who is responsible of taking care for OVCs? Government, NGOs, churches or me and You? Didn’t you ever think that, you too have contributed to the problem?

Relive their Hope

The community is me and you and the dearly children, why don’t you today take a step ahead, changing your mind toward them, loving them, caring and sewing a seed of a today nation.

Dear NGOs owners, how faithful have you been in serving these children or have you turned them in an Income generating tool? Feeding you at the expense of orphans?

What are their needs?
Remember, they are human being jus you are, they need love, they care, they need to be appreciated and not ignored as if they are bastards.

Materials alone won’t help anything, educate them and they will never forget you, teach them how to love and they will never hate. Encourage them that they can be what they want be.

Improve their health facilities to make them stay on track, preach love to enrich their mind.

Sheltering the OVC

They need shelter, they need and deserve to be sheltered from all sorts of life storms, we need to learn how to love them and care for them for they are ours. This hut seen in the photo is real, they in here, the whole family, no toilet, nothing of hope! and that is what they cloth. Save them

Mshana, Elineema