in Africa - 2 min read
They Need Protection
When Dindi awoke, he was utterly alone . . .
Dindi’s story is one of millions in a land overwhelmed by HIV/AIDS and extreme poverty. This is the Africa I was first introduced to and one that completely shook me to the core.
At first I saw the same Africa we all have seen. One whose problems seem endless and never appear to improve. Story after story proved my assumptions to be true . . . until I met a group of children whose voices reminded me of the difference hope can make.
As we arrived, children ran to greet us—children whose families have been torn apart by poverty, AIDS and a 20-year civil war. They were smiling, laughing, and offering handshakes and hugs. Each boy and girl is special and unique. They are children who, without our support, would not have the opportunity to attend school—a place where they also receive at least one nutritious meal a day. This is a privilege for them and not something they take for granted.
I watched them play a game in their red and green school uniforms that looked somewhat familiar, like “Duck, Duck, Goose” with an African twist. Then the children formed a large circle and began to chant a poem together. I had to listen carefully to understand what they were saying, but once I did, my heart stopped. This is what they called out over and over again:
Who is a child?
A child is a person below eighteen.
What do they need?
Love, care, comfort.
They are young and innocent.
Give them protection.
They need protection.