Sebi’s dream is to have a wife and children of his own and his own car. Abandoned as a baby, he grew up in Romanian state orphanages. Aged 20 he came to the Daniel Centre, run by Blythswood, where he has learned how to take care of himself, how to iron a shirt and how to go shopping. Now he has moved on to semi independent living in the transit house.
Fally, aged 12 lives on the border of Malawi and Mozambique. She lost her mother in 2005 and her father in 2007. She and her younger brother now stay with their older brother who is deaf and mute and has no job. With support from Blythswood our partners are feeding children orphaned by the AIDS epidemic, as well as providing school materials and clothing.
Adi ran away from home when he was ten. The youngest of four children he had no memory of his father. His mother suffered mental illness and Adi experienced total neglect. After three months on the streets of Timisoara in Romania, he was sent to Potter’s House, a street child programme aided by Blythswood Care. He has now been permitted to return to full time education. His ambition is to be a computer engineer.
Corana came to Elpis Kindergarten when she was six. She was still wetting herself, had not spoken for four months and it was very difficult to know what she was thinking. Both parents were mentally ill and she lived with six other people in one room with a mud floor and no heat or light. Now thanks to the extended day care at Elpis, which Blythswood supports, she is no longer wetting herself and she is talking to both teachers and other children.
Ashley is one of countless thousands of children across Africa orphaned by the AIDS epidemic. During her final illness, her widowed mother applied to Zimbabwe’s government fund for assistance to keep the girl in school. When the fund ran out of money, Ashley’s schooling would have come to an end had Harare Shelter for Destitutes not been able to step forward with Blythswood sponsorship, ensuring that she could continue to attend classes. Now 14 and living with an older brother, she is in her first year at High School where she struggles with English but excels at arithmetic. Crucially, because of Blythswood’s support, Ashley’s education has continued uninterrupted and she is able to keep alive her dream of working as a nurse in a health centre.
Maria was abandoned by parents at the age of six and she lives with illiterate and unemployed grandparents in a gypsy compound. There are two tiny rooms yet things would probably have been worse had Blythswood not built a concrete floor and fixed an outside door four years ago. The family’s regular income is £5 a month (Maria’s child benefit.) Maria joined the Talita Kum programme in September 2007. Now she can read and write and her grandparents say she has blossomed.
What is Being Done to Help Children?
Grace has been living for the last 18 months in an orphanage in Andhra Pradesh, supported by Blythswood Care. Her mother and father were killed in an accident and no one wanted little Grace. Her grandmother struggled to feed her from her meagre earnings as a domestic servant. Grace is now doing well. But what would have happened to her if Blythswood had not been able to help her? She would probably have become a servant at the age of seven with no prospect of education. And this is the best she could have hoped for – many end up begging on the streets.