«When kids are happy, so are their parents». Most parents know the old adage. Not surprisingly, it’s also true for Kids of Africa. During the past twenty years, our little village has seen know the truism from their own experience. Kids of Africa is no different. During the last twenty years, a good seed has been planted in the small children’s village. I experience this directly with every visit to our growing and charming crowd. Recently, I asked our youngsters and some of our staff what “happiness” meanst to them. I want to share your answers with you.
Left, Henriette (7th grade & top of her class), right Christine (She likes to play basketball).
«What makes us happy»?
Is it friendship? Love? Kindness at the right time? Good health? Sport? Hobbies? Good question. Many answers. Many of those I asked, marvel about their childhood. Some about their family. About friends and conviviality. Or even lonely moments under the starry sky. Just as Antoine de Saint-Exupery described them from the desert.
Whatever makes us happy, it is our strongest drive. Plus, happiness is the only good I know, which grows through sharing.
For 20 years, Kids of Africa has also been about this. Of course, we can’t make our kids happy. But we are creating the conditions for moments of happiness and for a good upbringing. We are today reaping the emotional rewards for having invested into our kids for many years. By offering them a loving family, protection, health, home, education. But above all: love. Seems like happiness then follows naturally. At least, that was our experience. When a new child joins our village, we can observe time and again: after those first days of uncertainty, there always follows the first smile. Then the relief. Followed by the radiant, bright, contagious laughter. That’s when friendships, family-bonds, love and sympathy grow strong. That’s when happiness becomes visible.
Salongo, a long-time worker at Buhweju Forest Farm: “I feel happy when I work. After a hard day’s work, I feel good – especially when I enjoy the sunset or a clear starry sky.”
Betty: “My family is my happiness. I can share everything with them. That makes me happy.”
Rebecca: “Love. Love always makes you happy.”
Nina: “I’m happy I survived my heart surgery last year.”
Laliian is a boy from Buhweju who currently attends primary 6 at Kids Pioneer School. He performs very well and likes to play soccer: “In school, I am happy when I have a good teacher.”
And what does happiness mean to you?
Finally, let me share with you some snapshots from my recent visit. They are images of happiness. And a short video of Maria, one of our many scholars who is grateful about a scholarship at our Kids Pioneers School. For them, this scholarship is also a great happiness.
Little Moses, Jesse and Collins, Medi, Eric and Malcolm.
Lillian, Joy, Jane, Juliana and Sheila.
Betty, Lillian and Rebbeca with Burkhard Varnholt.
The girl on the right, in the blue dress is Patricia, who is from the island of Nkose. Sarah in the striped T-shirt, Phoebe (from left), Mercy and Shakirah. They are all students at the Kids Pioneer School.
Maria is from Nkose Island, she is happy to be at Kids pioneer School. She attends the 6 elementary school.
With warm regards