Dear Friends, this is the humbling story of a single mother. If the world was run by more people like her, it would be a better place. Here’s the story of her family – told by her daughter Joy.
Mother Lina was once a refugee. Yet, every day, she cared for her beloved children, received from different fathers, not always in consent.
While Lina never had relatives to help, she always gave plenty to others. Her oldest son and daughter, Benjamin and Joy, are both scholars at our school. Both are exemplary, polite, smart and loyal to their family. Her other three children attend a neighboring secondary day-school. Lina pays for them from the little she has.
As if this is not enough, Lina took in, with the consent of her biological children, four additional fosterlings. Her daughter Joy reports:
First came Betty (12). She needed help and a home, because her blind mother was drinking and beating. She was so quarrelsome that her other sister had just run away.
Then Josephine (14) joined us. Her mother is sick. I think she has Aids. She is a friend of my mother.
Then, one Christmas-day, Olivia (14) and her newborn baby joined us. Olivia was chased away from her family and from her school because she had become pregnant. They wanted to send Oliva to the deep forest, far away, so she should suffer and either die or receive the child there.”
Asked about the circumstances of her pregnancy, Joy said “Fred was his name. He was about 20. He had invited Olivia for snacks because they rarely had food at home. But when they shared snacks under the trees near his church, she became pregnant. But Fred he ran away”
When Oliva was about to give birth, she got on a motorbike to reach a clinic, but had to stop on the way. She gave birth along the road. Mother Lina happened to walk nearby. She helped her. Now Olivia and her baby Favorite have joined mother Lina and her patchwork family, who share a small 2-room hut. Every evening, by the light of a paraffin-candle, mother Lina helps her six children with their homework – even when work has been burdensome.
It was time to go back to class. Before we left, I asked Joy about four favorites.
- Her favorite food? “Pizza”
- Her favorite teacher? “Teacher Ronald” (teaches English)
- Her best friend? “Rachel, from Kids of Africa”.
- What do you want to be as an adult? “I want to become president.”
Noted by Dorte Budolfsen, long-time director and head of education at Kids of Africa