After visiting the GLO last year on honeymoon, we instantly knew this was a place we wanted to return, to assist in the fantastic work that was being done. A few months on and hear we are.
After having the privilege of spending more time with the children this time round, I can now understand why they are so happy. The orphanage is ran with genuine passion and the level of care they receive is second to none. It is easy to forget the plight each one of them has suffered. Every happy smile masking their own individual horror story. Yet amazingly these children have bounced back and are little bundles of joy.
Since been here we have been on a few of Kevin’s infamous tours to see where the children really come from. One example was going into the bush for a home visit for Saidy. We have taken a particular shine to Saidy, he’s a bit of a character and is definitely much cleverer than he lets on!
As mentioned in previous blogs Saidy is a young boy who suffers from Epilepsy and went through most of his life without the medication he needed, as a result he is brain damaged. He was beaten by his family every time he had a seizure as they thought he was possessed. He is from a very poor family and when he first arrived at the orphanage was extremely neglected.
When we first arrived a few weeks ago he was getting upset regularly saying he wanted to go back and see his mother. Kevin, rightly decided it was Saidys decision to make so we took him back to his village to see his family. He was so excited to go back and he saved the sweets that Kevin had given him on the way over to give to the little girls in his village. It was heartbreaking to watch. He was running around greeting everyone so glad to see them all. What was even more heartbreaking was that his mother and grandmother were out looking for more manazi (the local home grown alcohol). And sadly were not there to witness his return. There was no food to feed the children, or money to send the little girl to school but what little they did have was taken to buy more manazi
Never the less when presented with the question of did he want to stay or go, he decided he wanted to stay. And so we left him there. The intention was to go back in a few days to check what he wanted to do. 3 days later we went back to find his family in the usual state, many of them drunk, children running around dirty with barely any clothes on and very hungry. Saidy looking disheveled, having not eaten since we left him, welcomed our return and this time was sure he wanted to come back to GLO with us.
So with Saidy in tow we headed back to the orphanage all very happy with his decision. Kevin got him an ice cream on the way back which put a big smile on his face for the rest of the day!
A perfect example of the excellent work that is going on at GLO. It was lovely to see Saidy come to his own conclusion that this is now his home.
Saidi, Monika & the family
Updates on a few of the others
Lisa is making excellent progress, we witnessed her making her first steps last week and she seems to have transformed from a baby into a very happy little girl in the short time we’ve been here.
Jimmy too is developing rapidly and is trying to say his first words… which Dan thinks sound like “Dan”.
Melissa is now a normal little girl, cheeky and up to mischief, I would never have believed she had gone through such trauma had I not read it myself. Again, a big compliment to everyone at GLO making this transformation possible.
A new play program has been introduced which so far is going well, the children are full of their usual enthusiasm for the activities and games. Dan had one group making paper mache masks which they found particularly entertaining.
Last week we held an X factor competition which they all took extremely seriously…we had a variation of acts, ranging from bible readings, to comedy sketches, to tribal dances…a bit different to the usual contestants! : )
Maguire House X Factor Audition
Winnie & Annie do their bit !!
Chabetty & Brian's Audition
X Factor GLO - A Captive Audience

Spending most of my days teaching in the school, I have had the opportunity to work closely with the teachers on different teaching methods, they are very welcoming of new ideas. The children are a dream to teach always attentive. Particularly in a lesson where I used a laptop which they were fascinated with and were referring to as a TV!!
Looking forward to the next few weeks and already I am dreading leaving…definitely going to smuggle a few home with me!! : )
Monika x
Monika enjoying playtime

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