I sit and hold Alice on my chest like I do every other day as she nestles down to go off to sleep. I love these quiet moments in the evening when all is still and I have time to just reflect. The world and its problems have been weighing heavily upon me for a few weeks now and I wonder if there is something I can do to help when so many are suffering. I am very much aware of how scary a thought it is to be raising children in a world with so many problems, but as I look down on her, my precious 2 month baby, my thoughts race away to the future anyway like they do with each of my children periodically; who will they be, what will they do and become in life? Nothing is guaranteed and if they are anything like me they will change their minds a hundred times and then never do any of the things they imagined. But one things for certain which I always feel overwhelmed by and that is how blessed we are to live in a place where they can pretty much be who they want to. A land and part of the world where we enjoy free education and numerous pathways to achieve what we want in life. I haven’t felt that immense gratitude much in my life until becoming a school mum and then that appreciation for what my kids can have has increased, and more so over the last 2 weeks it really has hit home and I feel different, I feel so grateful and I also feel like I want to do more…
It began 2 weeks ago when as a family we were so incredibly uplifted and touched by a performance from “The Singing Children Of Africa”. What started off as a family night out for a cultural experience, turned into a moment that touched my heart, made me very much aware of lives comparisons for them and my own children and a moment that made me want to do more. Their presence and singing was so touching to us that we have seen them twice again since and loved every second, with Megan dancing in the aisles and singing along and me moving at the back whilst trying to calm Alice. Their music is so feel good and their love for life is infectious. And then you hear their stories and are blown away by their determination and courage. I guess most would look upon them and say, but what have they to be happy about when they come from such poverty?! Why sing and dance and smile even when life has dealt you what it has?
But whilst these kids come from a small village in Kenya, with no material means, living in conditions we only see on TV, they have been taken by the good people at Educate the kids and given an opportunity for Education and a meal each day…some for a home and security via their orphanage and others a career through their teacher training programme. They have been given a future, hope and dreams. Each one has their own story from loosing parents to being too poor for state education. Parents abandoning them and loosing siblings too. Others walk 3 or 4 miles a day to school each morning and some are raised by people too sick to do anything. But one thing they all have in common is this love for life, a smile on their face and desire to learn. The things we moan about and take for granted without even realising it are the things that bring them the greatest joy.
My love for these kids and this charity began with that simple first concert; a feel good evening of African music performed by some incredibly talented children, on tour to raise awareness and money…and on the surface it is just that. But when we opened our hearts and ears and listened and saw beyond the handmade beautiful traditional costumes and the fun they bring, when we looked beyond the drums and dancing we saw the people, the individual, the child. Children just like ours but born into different circumstances and human beings destined for a life that would kill us if it was the future of our children. Stories of girls having babies in early teens and dying from the conditions they are to labour in. Boys caught up in crime and all sorts or responsible for the financial care of a whole family, yet all of them saved by an education. Something we are given freely, something we have at times begrudgingly done. So whilst I adore the music these kids have given (to the point of buying their CD and seeing them 3 times!) and loved the time as a family we have spent in these moments smiling, singing along, moving and dancing. I cannot hear their story and not be moved to help even just one, and so in memory of Poppy this year we have chosen to be sponsors and as a family to save another child from such an unknown future. For £11 a month we can give them a uniform, books, education and food. But more importantly we can help them to have a better future…we can give them dreams and hope. I cannot change the worlds problems but I can change the world for the one.
I truly love these moments in life when you find things that not only lift your soul, but truly inspire you too. Moments where you come away feeling great and yet determined to change and do more and be better. Feel good moments but thought provoking too… They are rather infrequent in life I guess, not the most ordinary thing, but woven into it to help us be better and do more; such a mix of emotions going on yet there is one thing for certain…you are never the same again. Iv’e had these moments when each of my children were born, at the odd film or theatre production or talk at church, they touch you deep into your heart and call for action and I thank the beautiful spirits of the Singing Children of Africa for giving these moments to our whole family over the last couple of weeks!
This video does not do them justice, but to me its so poignant..enjoy! As always linking up with Katie @mummydaddyme for #ordinarymoments!