The Power of Compassion: Caring volunteers help a young boy get to school
Maria (59) took Pride (9) in when he was just 4 months old. His biological mother has 7 other children and has had no interest in taking care of Pride so Maria has taken care of him herself since then. After her partner passed, and since Maria wasn’t working, she didn’t know what to do to provide for him and herself. To make matters worse, they did not qualify for any government social grants. With no source of income in sight, in the midst of this dark season, the HOPE worldwide SA team were able to connect her with a generous group of sponsors from the Johannesburg Church of Christ who agreed to support her through our SHIELD program.
When the family was first linked with their sponsors, they were in dire need. The family needed food, clothes and other basic necessities. Their shack was also in a poor state of repair. There was a hole across the side wall, the roof would leak, they couldn’t lock the door and the room was so small that she had to cook next to her bed. “I was ashamed to bring guests into my house,” Maria said.
The sponsors have since provided the family with food parcels monthly and clothes. They have also fixed the leaky roof and renovated the shack which is now in much better condition. The sponsors have also supported Pride with his education by paying for his school fees. “Other kids used to make fun of him for not going to school,” Maria explains. Though he was a child, they would call him a drug user as that is a common reason people in their settlement don’t go to school. “He’s so happy now that he’s going to school. He does his school work and I can see that he’s determined. He says he wants to buy me a beautiful house to live in when he grows up. He’d like to be a doctor when he grows up.”
While we work towards a longer term solution for them, Maria is very grateful for the journey that the sponsors have walked with her and Pride. “I don’t know where I’d be without the sponsors. I’d probably be drinking or stressed or dead. I’d be stressed about my life, feeling like I was not good for the world, that I’m nothing, that I’m worthless and that there’s nothing I can do to be like other people. I thank God for them. Now a child who was abandoned by their mother needs nothing. Other people need this life that I’m living. I hope that they can do this for others as well, people in need just like me. I pray that God can bless them.”
After two years of supporting Maria and Pride, the sponsors continue to be a pillar of support to the family. The family’s dream of a better future now seems possible to them. Maria’s wish for Pride is for him to focus on school, study further and qualify to be the doctor he dreams of becoming.