Tuesday, 1 November 2011

This is her story

I will tell you a story now.

It's about a girl.
A girl I met when we were out in Langa visiting the contemplated kids of Play on Wheels.

We opened the door to a shack where a young girl lives with her family. She is 7 years old and was severely burned due to a fire in Langa when she was just an infant. The fire burned her head so badly she almost lost all ability to move her legs and to speak. Nowadays she's just laying on her bed all day. But this little child, cheez, does she have the twinkle in the eye & a passion for drawing!
Anyway, her mother was not home when we got there, so we started chatting with her quick older sister. She was very polite, carried a laundry basket and wore a torn whitish shirt.

This story is actually not about the 7-year old child, it's about this go-ahead sister of hers.
This girl knew everything about her little sister. Her birth date, her health condition, her past, her passions, her allergies, EVERYTHING.
We took notes and in the end we closed our notepads and asked "So... What about you?".
She replied that after school she looks after her siblings, cooks, cleans the house, buys groceries and does the laundry while her mom is working.
"I'd love to help children with disabilities as well. Is there some way I could be involved...?".
Money. Get food for the family.
We asked her if instead of working for us, she might like to join Project Playground and just simply play.
Caught by surprise. Eyes wide open. Bling! Huge smile. F-U-N!
She put down the laundry basket, got caught by a moment of lightness and started puzzling about how to make it fit with her duties.

As we left the shack she stood in the doorway. Silence.
After walking a few meters I turned around and I saw her still standing there, glancing at afar with a soft grin.
It seemed she was dreaming a bit. Imagining herself just having a blast.

I will not tell you her name.
But I will tell you she's 14 years old.

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