Enjoy the little things

1 June 2023

Azungu, azungu!" I hear very often as we drive to Kwanjana. And as soon as we arrive at the school, a mountain of children storm towards the car. This is then a sign that we are early, because they are usually in class when we arrive 😀

Once at school, I feast my eyes.

One time I am shocked at the fact that the children have no toys at home. Let that sink in... Not drawing lines on a paper with markers from an early age. Not tearing around the living room with little cars. Not caring for a baby doll. By the way, being nurtured in your creativity by using natural materials and waste.

How shocked I was when we gave toys to the primary school children, but I saw that they were not used to that at all and so really did not know how to share toys with each other. In that respect, the kindergarten students are already much more used to it. In fact, they come all morning, while the primary school pupils come in the afternoon and then get tutoring. They go to the local primary school in the morning and I have heard with my own ears from the teachers there that the results of the For a Change children are better. Often; obviously not always. They don't have to be, because some are good at this and others are good at that.

But other times I enjoy it immensely: I see the teachers teaching full of enthusiasm. I interview them, for my studies, but certainly also out of personal interest, and then I find out that they have passion and love to give the children lots of love. I wanted that myself, because (according to a teacher) 90% of the families in Kwanjana are broken. Then my heart hurts; it really does. When I see the sadness in their young eyes or when I can't reach them. But how happy I also get when I hear stories of children who have been rehabilitated by the feeding programme! Or when I see that children in the preschool programme come in very shy, but can laugh and play with others after only a few weeks. Or when I know that children are far from always having nice home situations, but now get the chance to enjoy themselves, develop themselves and therefore have a chance to get a good job. To have a prospect of being able to support themselves and their families. Blessing! I found it valuable to go into the village and see how people live. To then realise that in the Netherlands standards are often high, but they are far from always the most important. What an immense difference to go to the local primary school and then see the children in huge classrooms with far too few materials. Then I see before me how the children at the For a Change school enjoy playing in the corners. Or doing sums on the practice cards I brought along. Enjoy the small things, because one day you will realise they were big things. What many opportunities they get to learn at school!

I have really enjoyed my time here. Already learned a lot from locals and teachers. I want to pass on things learnt. Will you reread the above and let it sink in? So that you realise that you are SO richly blessed. Why? We are all the same. And yet we have generally received more financial blessings from God if you compare it to the people here. Count your blessings. Don't look down on a fellow human being who has fewer material gifts. Who, however, may be more content than you as a result. Share out of your received gifts. Above all, pray with us for blessings for the beautiful and life-changing work of For a Change!