Monday, December 24, 2012

Giving or getting? - Freedom Foundation

A few blogs ago (All Wrapped Up) Ads and I went and joined the OWC wrapping production line and cut, wrapped and stuck. Today we went with another family to give some of the gifts to one of the charities the OWC supports.

The Freedom Foundation Children's Home is home to 21 HIV- positive orphans aged from 7 to 22. We rolled up with the car full of very well wrapped gifts. Some Ads and I could identify as the ones we had wrapped and were not yet falling apart. The kids all got one "requested" parcel.....towel and toiletres but also one "fun" gift - footballs, cricket bats, skipping ropes and badminton rackets and also some games. There were also gifts for the home as a whole - cricket stumps and bales and a baddy net. The childrens' home is a little out of mainstream Bangers. A modest building but with a little open space around it.  The Foundation pays for the kids to attend a local school and they were definately learning some English! Two of the eldest residents were out at work but are still supported by the Foundation, that is their home, family and doctor. We saw the home's daily itinerary which includes wake up call at 6.30am, a couple of time slots for medication during the day, as well as meditation and yoga, chores, school and some play time. The room labelled ICU is a constant reminder of the severity of these kids' plight.

Now these kids firstly parentless, secondly with their health severely compromised, don't on paper have a lot going for them. But does that stop them smiling, playing, dancing, being grateful not grasping, being humble not precious...not in the least.

Yes, some of them are smaller than they should be and their faces perhaps older and wiser as they have already lived lives more demanding and harder than our kids could imagine. But their inner beauty shines forth and we were honored to be able to add a little sparkle into their day.

 Our four kids, Ads, Molly, Jess and Wills enjoyed organizing and handing out the gifts. An amazing experience for them.
 The orphanage kids didn't rip the paper off the parcels as fast as poss to discover their prize. There was no 'mine is bigger than yours' They gently tried to peep under the wrapping to see what was inside as they savored the moment of opening maybe their only presents this Christmas tide.
Then it was our turn to watch as they put on a couple of dance numbers, smiling and enjoying showing off their moves.
 Then when some of the gifts were opened, it was time to show them how to hoop-la  - much fun ensued. 
and how to play Twister (Ads now wants this game!!)
 And to join in a game of cricket. Wills said on the way home the only place he wants to play cricket in the future is at the orphanage as the kids don't mind whose team they are on and no one quibbles when they are out and can he go back next week to play with them......Our kids just joined in as if there was no difference between these kids and themselves, no difference in their lives current or an ideal world maybe there wouldn't be.......

 So did we give or get this morning? I think we all know the answer!!!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing these photos. Seeing the Twister and cricket bats in action completes a chapter for me!