Saturday, October 8, 2011

Boys to Men

Four Boys to Young Men 

Two years ago I introduced you to four boys from an orphanage in Lilongwe, Malawi. In some ways these boys represent all of the orphans of Malawi, and perhaps around the world: a parent or both parents lost to some unspeakable disease or tragedy; faced with financial, physical and emotional challenges, and to say the least, an uncertain future. But through the generous hearts of a few, many lives are being impacted.

I visited the orphanage this past July with a group of thirteen family and friends and I talked to these same four young men again; I am aware they are no longer boys but young men. As would be expected they are more mature, more serious; there is still a certain playfulness but there is a greater urgency in them. For teenagers in the developed world, at 17 and 18, there is not the same sense of urgency, college is a given, if they want it, and frequently there is a secure net for those who want to be trapeze artist. But that is not the case for these young men, a net has never existed, they study hard, make it or move on.

The journey to Mtendere is long, we left on Saturday night (from New York) and arrived Monday afternoon, there were flights and layovers and more flights and more layovers, but like most of the truly sweet things in life, the wait was worth it. In some ways the journey helps to strip away the madness of life at home and open us up to a new pace and place. On this trip we stayed in the orphanage, we wanted to spend as much time as possible with our brothers and sisters in Mtendere Village. 

On this trip we did health check ups, health seminars, leadership training, tutoring, planted gardens, taught jump rope, organized storage rooms, taught West African dance and tie dyed tee-shirts and anything else begging for color but most of all we just connected on a simple human level.  The day we left one of these young men expressed a strong desire to attend university in the US, I marveled at his un-sated hunger, a hunger we must all have to change the world. 

Thank you for your support

Peace and tons of love 


1 comment:

Karen Osborn - Kusewera said...

Great job, Kevin! Beautiful piece.