Monday, May 18, 2009

A family of 64?

As the kids returned to school this month, I was reminded yet again how important the TFFT Family has become to not only us; the organization or the staff here on the ground, but to the children. Earlier this month Alley, Lou and myself headed out to pick up our 64 watoto and bring them back to Usa River Academy for Term II. It made for 3 cars (with the help of Lou and John), and a long day, but the smiles on the kids faces made every single pick up worthwhile. As we showed up to school with each car full of children, trunks, and bags full of goods for the next three months, we found many of the students crying, sad to leave their families behind. However, our family, the TFFT family couldn't have been more thrilled. With each drop the crowd in the grass grew larger and the cheers for the kids arriving grew louder. There were chants, and tackles, hugs and laughter.

It occurred to me that TFFT was accomplishing exactly what we were meant to be. We have successfully created a safe environment for these 64 children. An environment where they can learn, can thrive and feel at home. TFFT is not changing the past, giving them back their parents, or adjusting the reality of their individual situations. However, we are giving them a future, giving them a hope they can rely on, and people who care about them. 

As I was heading home that evening, I bumped into teachers Ruth and Margaret who teach Class 1 and 2. I gave them a liftee into Usa and as we drove they talked about how happy they were to see all the children again. Teacher Ruth then said, "Emily, your children, these ones from TFFT are so happy. They are the best because they get here and there are no tears, they are just so happy to be with the other children. Yes, they are so happy to be here with their friends- they are like family." It was a nice day to be in Africa, and a great day to be a part of the TFFT family.

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