For many generations, Christmas has moved people all over the world. It is a special celebration. Especially when we free it from the superfluous stress that we sometimes impose on ourselves. In Kids of Africa, too, the anticipation is great. But it is not so much about presents as it is about a special promise. For example, the promise that we can make the world a little better place. After a difficult year, the light of Christmas shines brighter and warmer than ever before.
The promise of Christmas
Where do people experience something of the Christmas promise in the world? Quite simply, it’s here, everywhere and anytime. Don’t we sense the joy of Christmas, of Advent, when we put a smile on a neighbour’s face? Whenever a door to well-being is opened for the disadvantaged. Christmas is, where the orphans, the lonely, the abandoned are invited to join the conversation. And whenever the weak, the needy or the entangled are offered new perspectives. That, in a way, is Christmas.
Then its light warms our soul and illuminates our minds. Like a candle. Because that is part of the Advent joy: the special promise that I and people will be well. That we can participate in a world where this will is done. In which good things can grow, like that proverbial mustard seed that we plant. That this good promise has not lost its radiance for many generations, bringing people together every year, is what makes these days so special.
Africa is strong. Africa’s citizens are resilient, creative and innovative. Good enough, they can carry a lot without breaking. Across Africa, just like in Kids of Africa, there are many hidden heroes. This year they deserve special thanks. They help the weak because it is right to do so. They share their home, belongings and possessions with others – without expecting anything in return. They encourage, they listen. They organise help for self-help and are often masters of improvisation. It is the practical solidarity in life that creates a role model that others follow. This is what we mean by “hidden heroes”. They have made a very special mark this year. Because in Uganda, it is mainly children with sometimes helpless parents, marginalised and sick people who suffer most from the precarious humanitarian situation.
I want to show you pictures of some secret heroes of Kids of Africa. It is only a spontaneous selection. For each picture there would be a whole story to tell. But I will consciously do without that. Because I do not want to embezzle the many other people I do not show for lack of space. I only want to highlight a few people by name, because they are usually in the background in our reports. They are our conscientious and forsightful directors, Dorte and Tage Budolfsen (Executive National Director) and Village Director, Florence. For more than twelve years they have been pulling many good strings in the background, being happy to help seven days and 24 hours. They are also conscientiously supported by Daniel, our excellent accountant and Ahmed, the experienced social worker, the mothers of each family and the teachers of each school.
For Africa as well as for Kids of Africa, 2020 was, in a way, the year of solidarity. It was the year in which we all grew older – not only biologically, but also in a figurative sense. Isn’t there a hidden Christmas blessing in that?
Celebrate with us
Derrick, a creative young man with a penchant for moving pictures, took some coherent pictures at our recent neighbourhood advent dinner. Watch the short video clip here.
With the best Advent greetings