There is a South African philosophy, Ubuntu, which was widely taught by Nelson Mandela and many other inspirational figures. Ubuntu roughly means, “I am, because of you.” In order to impact the world you must impact a person; when you impact one person you then impact a community. Many people have donated to my trip and have sent many encouraging words. I want to publically say thank you, nothing anyone has done for me has gone in vein. The donations I received have put me in an amazing position to impact many children’s lives.
I love all of my kiddies from the top of my heart to the bottom of my feet. I give these kids all of my love each day. From the moment I walk into the room at 9 am, to the moment I leave the place at 4:30pm. Any one working with children will tell you that it is not a job for the weak at heart. Volunteering at Christine Revell is an extremely emotionally draining roller coaster that I must endure. For example, today the little boy, Immunati, he is a 2 years old and has been at the orphanage since the beginning of January and hasn’t made any noise other than crying. A 2 year old boy that does not make any joyful noises or say any words is a bit odd. Today his Aunt came to visit, in the beginning they discouraged the family to come visit because it was making the adjustment period worse for Immunati. In the last week, I have seen him smile, and today he actually started to make happy sounds while he was playing. The joy that filled my heart is something I cannot put into words. He has made such an amazing progress in the short three weeks I have been here. While his Aunt was leaving his cries were piercing to the ears and the heart; I can only imagine what his Aunt was feeling. Although Immunati may not truly understand what is going on now; she made an incredible selfless decision to give him a better home.
Nelson Mandela once told a reporter, “Ubuntu does not mean that people should not address themselves. The question therefore is, are you going to do so in order to enable the community around you, and enable it to improve? These are important things in life. And if you can do that, you have done something very important.” There are many days where at the end of the work day I am drained beyond belief, but because I was able to comfort one child it made it worth the while. These kids need me at my best; therefore I use my weekends to recharge and come back stronger than ever. The giant smiles I receive when I walk in on a Monday morning confirms my decision to volunteer here.