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A Poem From An African Child

KUMI COMMUNITY FOUNDATION Life for very many families is tough in Kumi and none more so than for a certain teenage girl from a local home where life is hard and every day is a challenge. Her mother struggles to bring up her family by having two jobs working seven days a week, earning a mere pittance compared to ours and growing her food crops for survival. Sometimes I can see that not all is well; she may have malaria, not been paid, the crops may be failing; so many burdens to carry and depression can take over. But she does not give in and each day we exchange a few words: “How are you? How was your night?” and always said with a smile but I can see behind the mask. The daughter does well in the local primary school, the mother manages to scrape together enough money to pay her secondary school fees and then, what happens after her O-level equivalents which she passes with high grades, her limit has been reached and the girl will be destined for life of unfulfillment? The girl brings me a poem she has written and some pencil drawings of leaves. She has extraordinary talents which will not be valued in Kumi. She tells me her hopes and dreams and it saddens me that the Kumi Community Foundation cannot help her to complete her education. Being a registered charity, KCF must keep to its strict criteria of helping families with children with disabilities or malnourishment. Returning home, I put some of her work on Face Book which was well received and said my prayers. God listened and soon an anonymous donor offered to help her. She is in her second year in the senior grade at boarding school (please do not imagine a boarding school to be on a par with ours and think back to Dickens’ days of gruel and drudgery) and her words explain her gratitude more than mine can: “Words alone cannot define how grateful I am for the help you render for me. I strongly recommend that your efforts to better myself and my family and not forgetting to continue with the charity you carry on to seeing a better African child in his or her dreams will be a continuation in my life.” Below is her latest poem. Without the opportunity of education, so much talent is wasted and we can do little for many but helping change one youngster’s life will hopefully provide security for one family and change the expression of one mother’s face from one of hopelessness to one of hope.

A lot is a mess, much is yet to come Sorrows of uncontrollable circumstances Fears of one’s deepest apologies To unknown uncertainties of life But a smile, a big joy to witness The beauty of giving in order to be blessed By the One who knows all that lives. Wonders have I seen, but by you All is calm to bestow upon my future To create a meaning in a needy life. To silence the order of poverty. Thank you for seeing through life And for others under the charity May God bless you in any way possible

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