We managed to interview over 450 children today in two very different locations.
Airport (an area near the old grass airstrip) is very enclosed with narrow alleyways and dusty walkways. Housing is mainly rented and close together. There is little land to grow food and the streets are full of the sound of children playing.
Swaya however has vast expanses with the most wonderful vistas. The land is dry, with bananas growing and the land cultivated. Houses are speckled over the hillside and hardly a sound can be heard.
Both places gave their teams a warm welcome. Children came rushing to hold team members hands. As the interviews began the reality of the needs faced by these families began to hit. The hardship of being a great grandmother and yet being the sole provider for your great grandchildren. This wonderful old lady told us of the death of her own children and grandchildren!
“How do you feed children without any income or government assistance?” the gentle, winsome smile says it all.
The children are friendly but often small in height and weight for their age. Teeth show signs of decay. Signs of worms and lack of food show in their bodies. Yes, the need is great.
As the interviews came to an end in both locations the crowds of hopeful parents with children in tow began to gather to see if we would also enrol their children onto the sponsorship scheme. This is so very difficult as we are only able to take on around 100 new children during this trip. And it is only Monday!!