Tuesday, September 12, 2006


I know I do not need to tell you how privileged we are in the western world. We have everything at the touch of a button. Most people have sufficient money to buy enough (in most cases too many) clothes, shoes, food I could go on.

On African terms Joe and I and the family we live with are also very privileged. We have a big brick house with running water and electricity. These are things in England we would take for granted but here we do not. The public tap is not far from our house. Everyday we see children struggling under the weight of water containers whilst they carry the families supply of water home. I moan about the lack of hot water or washing machine but I can live without these things. Clean running water is a different matter.

Today I have been to visit some of the children HINT supports. These are children from poor families in our local area. We have been visiting their homes to meet them and their parents to discuss their back to school needs. On Sunday afternoon HINT will hold a special annual program called 'back packs'. This is designed to give children something they need for school their parents cannot afford. Uniform, text book, school bag etc. I will tell you more about it after the event next week.

So I have been in about 5 houses. Most only have one or two rooms. Many made of wood with tin roofs. No windows just a hole in the wood with metal bars covering it. Grit floors covered with lino to try and make it homely, we remove our shoes when we enter. The bed and living areas are in the same room. I saw an outside kitchen and no evidence of a bathroom in one house. No running water although most had electricity (and a TV in the corner). It makes you think when you see a small room with 5 maybe 6 people living in it and a telly.

However even these people are privileged, they must be they have a telly. With my work I will be visiting the villages. This is where I will see real poverty. Mud houses with little furniture. I will write more after some visits.

I also went past the site of the landslide the killed 4 people on our first night here. Seeing where the earth fell from just in front of another house (these people have now left this house over fear of their lives). Directly on top of this poor little defenceless house. It was the middle of the night, the people in that house had no chance.

1 comment:

Ann said...

Heather, it's good to be reminded of the gifts we take for granted, such as clean water. I, for one, often act very entitled.