Mfume Baba!

Out in the South Coast of Durban, there is an organisation that helps disabled children, where either their parents can’t take care of them, or they won’t. This area, is a place where there is no electricity or running water. The “staff” consist of volunteers from the community, who not only act as care givers to these children, but also take on the task of walking to fetch water (up to 5kms), making fires to heat water to make sure it is safe to drink and to cook food, among many things.

It is a difficult life that is the reality for most people in these remote rural areas. The thing that makes these people extraordinary, is that they are doing it for children who can not do it for themselves, children that are not their own. There are a few children there, but the child pictured, was born with half a brain and severely deformed appendages. He can’t do much for himself, but he craves attention. As you approach his cot, he sticks his tummy up in the air, and jiggles around, signaling for you to pick him up, or at the very least interact with him. When you do, he laughs and giggles, because you have literally just made his day. He is well loved, and it shows.

This “Baba” (a Zulu term of respect for a man), clearly has a soft spot for him, and what I love about this picture, is it shows on his face. He is not his father, but you would never know!

If you would like to know more, donate, or help in anyway, you can get hold of “Let Us Work” via their blog.

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Can a smile change the world…?

When I took this picture of this little girl, she was leaning against me smiling, and I looked down and took the picture. The original is pretty great, but I played around with the contrast so that you cant really recognize her face. She comes from a very poor background, and she had walked 10 kms with her mom to get a wound on her leg dressed. Yet there she is, smiling, like she has nothing in the world to worry about! I really don’t think that a smile could change the world, but I do think a smile could change someone’s day. I know this smile changed mine. So If everyone smiled a lot more, and a lot more people’s days were changed, perhaps the world would change, and be a lot more cheerful. (This is following the Hunters: “If it cools your chinas down…” principle.) Also, this is probably the most cheesy thing you have read today!

How wonderful life is when you’re in the World!

My friend had a really rough time with her third baby. She knew it was going to be hard, because with her previous two births she had gone into precipitate labour. This is where labour is very quick and lasts an hour or less. You might think this is the perfect situation? Well, its very dangerous for mother and baby and can often result in premature labour. In fact, with her second child, her husband delivered the baby in the waiting room. So with the third baby, the doctor had planned to induce early, to avoid any complications. What he didnt plan for, was a very premature birth. When she was born, the baby’s lung collapsed and there were a couple of other complications. I won’t go into all the details, but it was a very hard time for the parents. They had a few moments where they weren’t sure their baby girl was going to make it! After over a week of trauma and ICU’s, they were home and happy! That’s why this picture means so much to me, because I know how hard it was for my friend to get to this place. Happy, settled and home with her new baby girl. Her perfect baby girl! When I first held her, her whole arm, was the size of my ring finger. She wasnt even supposed to be born yet! So to Lilly: “How wonderful life is, when youre in the world”.