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The story behind the picture

By Jennie Rasmussen 2 years ago
Categories Cape Town

You may have seen this photo before. I enjoy seeing this picture as it has so much meaning and the story behind it is memorable in my own GVI journey.

I worked as a Coordinator at Ikhayalethemba Village Sanctuary. It was the first time since I had worked there that new children had arrived. The new arrivals were a young boy and his sister originally from Mozambique.

My first thoughts were that we should intervene making the children feel welcome and to do activities to help them to interact with the other children.

What happened before me was really quite amazing. There was nothing that the adults needed to do to step in because within minutes the children were playing happily with each other, as if they had known each other always.  The language barrier between them didn’t seem to affect anything, the language between children isn’t necessary always a “spoken” one.

In just a very short time this little boy was speaking in Xhosa and English. A well behaved boy that was a good role model to the younger children. He loved interacting with the volunteers and he loved to learn, and would ask questions frequently.

When the little boy asked me “where do the teachers come from and where do they go when they leave?” it suddenly dawned on me that all of the other children were quite used to the routine of volunteers coming and going and accepted it.  However, it was new to him.

I bought in a world atlas and we would  regularly sit together and look at all of the different countries where the teachers were from. We put a world map up in the classroom, and I often saw this little boy showing the younger children where the teachers came from.

When it was time to leave, we would always wave up at the planes to say goodbye.

After just over a year the little boy and his sister were reunited with family.

A simple photo can have a whole story behind it.