Many people have asked us to share with them the details of our lives with the HIV/AIDS orphans. So I’m going to dedicate this post to sharing our friendship with these children with you.
As with any friendship, it takes time to get to know one another. And depending on your personality, it could take a little longer to open up to the other. With that being said, our progress in getting to know each of the children has varied due to their individual personalities.
Arron and I with Vuyiswa and The Boys; Samson, Anga and Musa.
As most of you know, Arron and I have a very close relationship with the three youngest boys of the first Safety Home (Vuyiswa’s home), Anga, Musa and Samson. From day one, it was an instant connection and a friendship was formed. And we haven’t held back since! Despite each of their tragic stories, which brought them to Vuyiswa’s Safety Home, and the heartbreaking fact that each of them are living with HIV – they are constantly smiling, laughing and demanding more love than the day before.
Siphokuhle and Bongeka; The Sisters
It has taken us a little longer to get to know the older three at Vuyiswa’s house. Sivuyile (12), the oldest boy in the house, is always quiet and he often listens in on our visits from another room entirely. Arron and I noticed his shyness from our first meeting, but we are afraid it is more than a simple characteristic of being shy that is keeping “Sivu” from opening up. On our last visit, during the garden planting, Sivu was slowly but surely progressing towards us while we played with the others. He is definitely curious and keen to be apart, but due to his hesitancy, we are not rushing him. We know he will let us in when he is ready. Siphokuhle (13) and Bongeka (11) are the sisters, and they are always together. Their story is a sad one, and the pain from their past is easily seen in their beautiful faces. Siphokuhle has the most beautiful smile I have ever seen – my only wish is that we would see it more often than we do. Both girls are huge helpers around the house and they are constantly taking care of the boys and keeping them in their place. There was a huge personal breakthrough for Arron and I on our last visit to the home. The sisters greeted us at the front door with a hug from each and a very welcoming smile to go along with it. My heart sank instantly, and I was overcome with an overwhelming desire to never let them go. We have been struggling to find an open door into these two girls’ hearts, but in that moment, I think they may have opened up a window to us.
Gertrude’s Home was only opened to us early last month, so our relationship with her six children has not had a chance to grow. But having said that, in our two visits that we have made, we have experienced almost an instant connection with all four boys at that home. Fabio (12), Leonardo (8), Sakho (5) and Lubabalo “Prince” (4) each have their own vibrant personalities. We were instantly hugged and loved on when we met these guys – they didn’t seem to care who we were, they just wanted to express their excitement to meet us. Fabio immediately had his arm around Arron and was in full conversation before he had a chance to sit down. Oh! And the boys absolutely love Arron’s West Coast style; the backward cap. The younger three are simply wild and full of energy. Sakho and Prince love my camera and love, even more, to see their faces on the display after their picture has been taken. Prince is another famous for his smile; it will melt your heart. He is always laughing and demands to be center of everyone’s attention. He is loveable and he is sweet. Prince is also HIV Positive. The girls of the house, Nokwanda (14) and Sinelethu (12), are beautiful and extremely hospitable. They are as equally as shy as the other, but very open to learn more about us. After we arrived with the groceries on our first visit, they immediately began to unpack and hand out apples to all the boys. And after they felt they had been hospitable enough in welcoming us, they quietly returned to their chores.
Nokwanda and Sinelethu
Lubabalo "Prince", Sakho & Fabio
Since our first meeting with these two Safety Homes, four months have passed and we are feeling very confident about our progress with our friendships in Sada. Of course, we have a lot more to learn and so much more to discover, but we remain encouraged about our future with these children. As we begin to learn more about each other, we are sure that our friendships will grow and our roots in Sada will deepen, and strengthen too. We would like to share that progress with you and we would also like to “introduce” you to these children individually, so please keep up with us as we begin to tell their stories.
Prince and his smile
We cannot change the past for these twelve children, but we most certainly can be apart of positively effecting and influencing their future. If you would like to be involved in the lives of these children and help to brighten their future in ways they could only dream possible to them, then please join us. Donate here.