On Wednesday last week Flora and I visited Jacinto and Annabella, the orphaned brother and sister that Born Positive has been supporting for over a year now.
8 months ago we helped to relocate them to their aunty Alzira’s home in Mahelane Village, where they could experience family life and love for the first time. With Flora our Family Liaison Volunteer visiting them regularly, the improvements in the children and the overall unity of the family has been going from strength to strength.
Last weeks visit left us almost to happy for words! When we got to Mamma Alzira’s home we were over the moon to see that the Betta Lights solar unit that we installed in March was still intact, the ear-to-ear grin on Alzira’s face when we asked her how it was going told us everything we needed to know. The two light bulbs have absolutely revolutionised their lives.
It was 11am when we arrived and the absence of the usual crowd of children was a little strange but absolutely refreshing – they were all at school of course! After the usual meeting with the chiefs of the community to show our respect and announce our visit, we took the short walk through the village to the Khensane creche and primary school.
Walking around a blind corner into the courtyard of the school, I spotted our little cherubs playing and they spotted me! Within seconds I had been almost bowled over with hugs and shouts of “Mana Amy! Mana Amy!”
With the help of our wonderful sponsors – Martien and Barbra from Holland for Annabella and Tracie Shephard from England for Jacinto and Rofino – we have been paying for all three (Rofino being Alzira’s 3 year old biological son) to attend the creche Monday – Friday for the last 7 months. Whilst renewing the fees for another 3 months, Flora, Alzira and I beamed with pride as we were told by the head teacher how much progress the children are making in class.
But, perhaps the best surprise of the day was hearing 3 and a half year old Jacinto speak for the first time. Having worked with him for the last 2 years it was clear that he was developing much slower than most children of his age, undoubtedly due to the traumas (both emotional and physical) that he has faced during his life. Up until now, he has not been able to articulate a single word and would only communicate with noises and hand gestures.
Finally, just 2 months before his 4th birthday and after lots of practice at creche and finally feeling comfortable in his new home environment the shy little boy we once new has blossomed into a confident, happy go lucky, chatter box!
During the same week we also had the honour of meeting Magda, Dumsane and Isaac, three very special children each individually orphaned and affected by HIV in one way or another – after meeting each of them in person we are delighted to announce that Born Positive will be supporting them in the same way we have done and will continue to do for Jacinto and Annabella. More on that to follow!
Thank you for reading our success story and being a part of our Born Positive change! We couldn’t do it without you.
Amy Hulme – Co-Founder.