Two sisters. Tiny in stature but big in presence. Within a couple of weeks, they had everyone’s hearts in their little hands. So full of energy and intelligence. They stayed with us for 9 months and were reunited with their mother and moved back home.
But before GCF ever appeared, two little girls lived with their mother, uncle and the rest of their extended family. It was not a great life. The mother was young and negligent. Eventually there was abuse and the children were removed and placed at GCF. While the children were at GCF, social workers and the court worked to make sure the abuse would never take place. GCF worked with the mother and the family, the mother went through GCF’s programmes like parenting skills, healthy living and coping with death and trauma. After much assessments and once the situation was deemed risk-free, the children went back home to their mother.
There had been some home visits conducted by our social workers. On this visit, I just went to write their story. We arrived midday to a clean but empty house with washing outside. After waiting outside a bit, we decided to go to their school, which is nearby.
What a joy! To see them so grown, so free and so completely untouched by their past trauma! After a happy reunion, I took them for a walk to the shops. I wanted the inside scoop without the social workers around and I got it! The girls are so happy! Their mother has changed, she seems to be taking an interest in them and their schoolwork. They would not stop talking; indeed, they had the confidence that you only see in well-loved children. They now had a blossoming relationship with their father. In fact, they would not stop talking about their father. Very different from the children who had arrived at GCF all those months ago. I asked them if they missed GCF and of course they missed the burgers and the sea but they were very clear in having no interest in returning.
After our walk, I spoke to their principal and class teachers and they all said the same thing. She spoke about the remarkable difference in the children. They were clean, well-fed, schoolbooks in good condition. They were concentrating and doing their work. Their mother was taking such an active role in their school work and their lives. They were happy. She says the whole community does not stop talking about how much that little family has changed.
We still went to the house and found an aunt there; their mother was out working in the fields. The aunt said they have been amazed at the changes in the young mother. She said, “It is like she is finally accepting that she is a mother and has chosen to accept it. She always says she did some training at GCF and she learnt a lot. Most of all she is constantly talking about how she never wants to be away from her children.”
Unfortunately, we left before getting to talk to the mother but we left with light hearts.
This is why we do what we do at GCF. Our role is not just that of a child-rescuer. We want to hear stories of how families and lives are changed. How the faces and stories of the community are changing due to our programmes. How the lives of children in the community are being improved. It makes us happy to hear a child say she misses GCF, but is happy to be with their mother, in the community where none of the amenities that GCF has. All children just want a family to belong in.