Make a wish come true

Syria* has never been to the cinema and her greatest wish is to go to the movies with her mother and siblings. Asked what she imagined the cinema to look like, she smiled shyly and replied, “I think it is a big place where people sit and watch movies”. Her face lit up with excitement when one of the childcare workers told her that you could have popcorn, sweets and a cool drink while you watch a movie. Her excitement is understandable because sweets, popcorn and a cool drink all on the same day, is a rarity.

At eight years of age, Syria has never been to see a movie. Sadly, this is true for many young children in the Westbury programme run by Abraham Kriel Bambanani and this situation may not change anytime soon as a result of the disaster management plans in place to contain the spread of the Covid 19 virus.

Syria lives in Westbury with her mother, four siblings and two uncles, who are both drug addicts. The family depends on the monthly children’s social grant and the little income Syria’s mother makes as a street vendor. Despite her precarious family life, Syria is a positive and happy little girl. The childcare givers describe her as a very shy, but a top performer academically. She received three awards for Mathematics, Life Skills and Afrikaans at her school’s prize giving. She loves her family very much, but the most beautiful thing about this little girl is her indomitable spirit and desire to help others. Syria wants to be a teacher or principal when she grows up in order to give back to her community. She is already on that path because she is always the first to lend a helping hand when her peers need help with their homework.

Syria’s limited exposure to life experiences is not unique. Many children in the Westbury programme also know no better. For some, the furthest they’ve gone is to the AKB facility in Langlaagte or to the Johannesburg CBD. Others have sadly never been outside of Westbury. Schools have closed and movies are not an option right now. Children must stay indoors and they need to be kept busy. By the time this is all over, they are going to be desperate for an outing such as a movie. Please help us make Syria’s wish come true and also that of her peers, by donating R100 towards keeping the kids occupied in the extended period away from school. As soon as it is possible, Syria will be taken to see a movie with her family. Please contact us to get more information or to share your suggestions.

Tel. 011 839-3058 or info@abrahamkriel.org.

*Not her real name

JY kan ‘n droom waar maak

Syria se grootste droom is om saam met haar ma, boeties en sussies te gaan fliek.  As 8-jarige, was Syria nog nooit in ‘n fliek nie.  Syria dink ‘n fliek is ‘n groot plek waar mense sit en flieks kyk.   Haar gesig het opgehelder toe die kinderversorger vertel dat jy springmielies en lekkergoed kan eet en koeldrank kan drink, terwyl jy fliek kyk.   Dit kon sy skaars glo, want lekkernye is ‘n baie skaars artikel.

Dit is ongelukkig waar vir meeste jong kinders wat in die Westbury program versorg word. Syria sal nog ‘n rukkie moet wag om haar droom te bewaarheid.  Ons almal moet nou eers gehoor gee aan die Covid-19 beperkings.

Syria woon by haar ma, boeties, sussies en twee ooms, wat albei aan dwelms verslaaf is. Die gesin maak staat op die maandelikse maatskaplike kindertoelaes en die geld wat haar ma as straatverkoper kan verdien. Ten spyte van die bedenklike gesinslewe is Syria ‘n gelukkige dogtertjie met ‘n positiewe uitkyk op die lewe. Sy is skaam, maar ‘n akademiese presteerder.  Sy het toekennings gekry vir Wiskunde, Afrikaans en Lewensvaardighede by haar skool se laaste prysuitdeling. Sy is baie lief vir haar familie. Haar beste eienskap is egter haar groot hart en begeerte om ander te help. Sy wil eendag ‘n onderwyser word en moontlik selfs ‘n skoolhoof, want sy wil die gemeenskap help.  Sy ontwikkel alreeds haar beste eienskap, want sy is altyd eerste om te help as haar maatjies hulp met skoolwerk benodig.

Syria’s se beperkte blootstelling aan lewenservaringe is nie uniek nie. Heelwat jong kinders in die Westbury program is in dieselfde situasie. Sommige se blootstelling strek so ver as Abraham Kriel Bambanani se kampus in Langlaagte of dalk die Johannesburg middestad. Ander was nog nooit buite die grense van Westbury nie.

Die skole is gesluit en fliek is nie nou ‘n opsie nie. Maar sodra hierdie gevaar van die verspreiding van die Covid 19 virus verby is, gaan kinders desperaat wees vir ‘n uitstappie soos ‘n fliek.   U kan steeds Syria se droom bewaarheid om met haar gesin te gaan fliek. Dit geen net ‘n rukkie vat.  Intussen sit kinders vasgekeer binne hulle huise en erwe. Elke R100 wat AKB ontvang met die verwysing:  Fliek, sal aangewend word vir Syria, haar gesin en ander kinders al ons programme, wat besig gehou moet word.  Sodra dit moontlik is, sal Syria en haar gesin die beloofde fliekuitstappie kry.  Ons sien uit daarna om te kan terugrapporteer hieroor. Kontak ons asseblief vir meer inligting of om voorstelle van veilige uitstappies te deel.

*Nie haar regte naam