Thursday, 23 February 2017

23 Feb - Day 5 -Our last day in Sommerset - farewell, but not goodbye!

During our last day with the care volunteers and children in Sommerset there were lots of times to cherish and think about...
Sophie -

Today, we visited Sommerset again and we managed to go on some home visits. I visited the house of a careworker where she looks after her 6 grandchildren. Her total income from the government is only about £60 a month. One of her grandchildren is at risk of being kicked out of school as they don’t have the correct papers to go to school. This is because his mother died and no death certificate was made after her death, and he doesn’t have a birth certificate to prove that he was born in South Africa. This problem massively affects children in South Africa on a daily basis and they can be kicked out of school regardless of how intelligent they are. These people will unfortunately have no future as they won’t have any qualifications to get a job so they won’t be able to support their families. 


Today I went on a home visit to a young lady's house. When we arrived there was a small, rectangular room with a bed, a table and lots of their belongings stacked up. It was a relatively small room, so I immediately assumed that this was her bedroom, but after digging deeper, I realised that this was the room that she shared with her sister, her grandmother and her two children. Not only that, there was just one bed which they shared between the five of them. This was their bedroom, kitchen and where they bathed. The woman’s mother had died and the only income was from the money they received for their children. The woman found a job that she was praying to get. If she got this job then she would have to travel hours on the bus every day to get there. I was very surprised that despite the struggles that she was facing, she continued to smile and laugh. 

Maisy -

Painting today
There were many great memories that I have experienced today, such as: going on the home visits, painting and drawing with the children and making even more new friends. As of the home visits, I went to a young boy’s and his sister’s house, which they share with their mother, to see how they live and then to bring them back to the care point for a meal. I found it very difficult as they were very young and we found them alone - as their mother had to leave to get their medication. Their house was one room and consisted of a bed, a fridge, a stand and a rail which had their clothes on. It made me feel very guilty, as I understand that I may sometimes take things for granted whereas the children were happy with what they had. We brought them back to the church at the care point where, along with all the other children, we painted with our fingers and enjoyed each other’s company. 

Personally, I feel it was one of the best days yet as I, as well as the rest of the team, really enjoyed ourselves but felt that saying goodbye was extremely tough. 


Today was an amazing day, I feel as though I connected with loads of people. On the journey there I was quite anxious because we were told the day before that the people of Sommerset had tough stories and that there was a lot of abuse within families and drinking to allow people to forget about the problems that they are facing. But as soon as we got there and sung some songs I felt as though I was mentally prepared to face what was to come. When I arrived to the house that I was visiting I noticed the conditions that the people that lived there were in. The floor was dirty, the chance of them getting robbed was high because there wasn’t high enough security. This made me feel bad for the people that lived there as there was only one adult caring for three children. We spoke to the auntie who is looking after the children before she left for work and she said that there was food for the children to eat but after looking we couldn’t find any food. We then took the 2 kids that were there back to the care point as the oldest was still at school, we fed them and they then enjoyed the activities that we offered to them. We then had to face leaving the children, this was the hardest part about day as I wanted to
stay. The faces of the kids were so happy as we were there but as we left I noticed that there facial expression had dropped. But just before I left the care point the child that was at the home visit came up behind me and patted me on the back, I turned around and she started to hug me. This made my day and possibly made my whole trip to Africa amazing. 

Sommerset today
Daisy-Today I felt was quite a hard but extremely awarding day. I felt that I connected with quite a lot of the children and further understood and realised their generosity and strength. It was amazing seeing how happy a few tubs of paint, chalk and a ball can make a child and how happy they were to see us all and play with us. It was really fun to sing songs and dance with the children, witnessing how their faces lit up and how passionate they were about it. I smiled so much today and am still carrying the feeling of happiness they have made me feel. Children like those I have met today give me a lot of hope for the future, determined people with the ability to share and love regardless of their problems. I hope in the future they will rise through all this hurt and live the life they deserve.

The remarkable care volunteers cooking lunch
at the care point in Sommerset - with some Link for Life helpers
Some of the friends we made in Sommerset