October 15, 2015

Last week I traveled out to a homestead with two nurses who had heard that this family’s house had burnt down. With the father too ill to look after his kids and the mother not in the picture, the eldest girl, around 12 years old is now the head of the family. Nothando looks after her father and her two younger brothers. The nurses brought some basics like clothes, wash basins, pots and pans to help get this family back on their feet. The one moment of this visit that really got to me was Nothando’s face when one of the nurses gave her a pink girly floor mat. It was'nt so much the gift of the mat but the fact that someone recognized her as a young girl, and not as a mother, a provider, head of a family. So many children are losing their childhood to this illness. This is the real tragedy here. Nothando is a true inspiration in how she cares for her family but she shouldn’t have to be. She should be busy being a girl.

Oct. 15 2015

Aidan O'Neill