A new school term begins with many new applicants

The first term of 2012 starts on the coming Monday, the 30th of January. We have interviewed close to one hundred children and adults and still have to further investigate 30 families to determine the extent of their situations.
After that process, we need to meet and make a decision concerning who we can assist this year along with our students who we already help. The stories of people dying of AIDS, of struggling mothers and abandoned and orphaned children make these decisions so difficult.

These photos have three different but common stories. The two teen aged girls are sisters and have no capable adults left in their lives who can continue to pay their school fees. The taller girl has an unbelievable report with top scores in every subject. Her sister is a strong student but has a few subjects that she has problems with. They deserve to continue school with their strong desire to make it and their academic abilities.

The next two photos are of mothers who are unable to even pay for primary school fees
for their children. The one with the three boys just lost her husband to AIDS and the extended family related to her husband kicked her and her children out of their home, so that they could have the land themselves. This happens very often and is called “property grabbing”.

The other lady with the smaller children has AIDS and she is very weak and thinks she will soon die. As well her small girl is also HIV positive. The other girl and boy have been in school but the mom is now finding it impossible to work so hard to earn money for their fees and school needs.

Lastly the group picture is what our office parking lot is like most of the time, crowded with children and youth looking for help and support. I have now had to say that we are closed to any more applicants and I pray that we will be able to help those we do take. It is difficult to make sense of and realize the extent of the suffering and needs faced here. We wish that there were more government programs, funding and honorable community-based organizations to ease the suffering and address the critical needs of so many people.