There are many differences between people who don’t have much and those who are more privileged. One of them is that it’s much easier to make a less fortunate person happy because the one who already has everything expects much more than the one who has nothing.
This is one of the main things I’ve learned during the project at Fontein Combined School in Port Elizabeth. Life is not about having the coolest clothes or the best car, it is about basic needs as food, shelter, friends, family and people who love you.
It’s so easy to put a smile on the kids’ faces – just lift them up in the air, play hide and seek with them or let them hug you. For you it only takes a few minutes but for them it means so much! I will never forget how happy this one girl was when I carried her on my back or that one boy I played soccer with.
When we play with them or have a conversation I can sometimes hardly believe from which background they come. They seem to be so “normal”, just like any other kid around the world.
But then they ask me if I had food for them, if I could give them some money or even if I could take them home with me and I realise what their life is really all about: fighting to survive.
That’s why I’m so happy that we could at least give them a bit of hope and new colors to their life. That they could at least forget about their daily worries for a few minutes. For example when we showed them the videos and pictures from July: Today the whole school went to the community hall and we presented them what we’ve done with THEIR help.
For me the time at the project ends like it started: as I’ve already written then I’m a very emotional person so it’s not a surprise that Becci and I started crying again when we saw all these kids laughing when they noticed themselves on the photos or on the videos. For us it’s so easy to make them happy – we only have to DO IT!
The school needs the help of more Young Explorers, it even makes a difference if you can only come for one or two days. It’s not only the kids who benefit from it but also yourself as it broadens your horizon and gives you a complete new view on your own life.
written by Saskia Bauer