Ayanda* was still small when he was placed in foster care. He struggled with several health issues from the very beginning. The foster dad worked nights, and sometimes after a shift he rushed the boy and the foster mom to the nearest hospital. He would be with them the whole day waiting for their turn, and then go straight back to work in the evening without resting.
Ayanda needed special medication, which was very costly. His foster mom tried to apply for social assistance from government more than once, but was sent from one office to another and finally gave up pursuing the option of some extra financial help. Instead, her husband and other family members supported endlessly to the necessary medical costs.
There were times when the foster mom would take the boy to the clinic and people would gossip behind her back, saying that she took the child into her care only because of the government grant. These words made her stronger and she never gave up hope that her child would recover, grow strong and healthy.
After almost a decade without any governmental financial support, Ayanda’s foster parents returned to the grant’s office with the assistance from a local NGO (non-governmental organisation) with a new application. This time it was granted.
We often talk about walking an extra mile, to do something more than what is required of us. Ayanda’s new family and many other foster families that GCF work with, have often shown their willingness to walk many additional miles and do things they never signed up for. They see hope and what is best for the child they welcomed into their family. No money in the world can replace the unconditional love they show over and over again.
*not his real name