At the PCB (Project Christmas Blessing) school parties, Lindiwe our health care worker told me a Jonah-‐like story. She was notified aboutan abused and neglected child that she must look into urgently. She asked a few questions and discovered the child was outside of our area. Because of this she decided to leave it for someone else to worry about. That same night Lindiwe couldn’t sleep, in fact all she could think about as she lay awake was the child that was in dire need of help. The next day she contacted me for assistance and to accompany her during the home visit. Lindiwe and I have visited countless homes with emergency situations, but this time it was different.
As we drove the steep muddy roads I had to use the 4WD to arrive at what I thought was our destination, but it was just the end of the road. Once we stopped, we hiked down a single muddy footpath, our guide actually fell quite badly when she stepped in a fresh cow pie.I couldn’t believe my eyes when we walked upon this abandoned mud hut that wasn’t really abandoned! There were entire walls missing and a small boy lying on the wet mud floor with a few blankets for a bed.
Siya is 10 years old and has never been to school. His mother actually lives next door but has no interest in clothing, feeding or caring for her son. This mother has given birth to 7 children, 6 of which have run away soon as they reach an age where they realize they will die if they stay. Siya couldn’t remember the last time he ate, he would get meals only when he begged from neighbors. One of these neighbors is who came to us for help.
To make a long story short, we’re now the legal guardians of Siya. Now our days are full of very interesting stories. Such as wondering where Siya’s chicken bones when during dinner only to realize he had swallowed them.
Now Siya loves food and eats many times everyday, although he did slow down after we dewormed him. He’s always been thought of as mentally handicapped, but that no longer seems to be the case since coming to our home. Its amazing what food and water will do for a boy; oh and a bath, medicine, much love and much prayer. My new task is toilet training a 10 year old boy who honestly had never used one until a week ago. Fork and knife are quite a novelty for Siya and shoes too.
Anything we’ve given Siya gets carried around everywhere, he says the toys and clothing will be stolen otherwise. Siya has quickly picked up a few phrases in English, one he likes to use is, “thank you.”