Following reports by some neighbouring families close to The GLO about a young girl who was being cared for by her elderly great-uncle & great-aunt, Hemed visited the home to see what the conditions where like. Constance a five year old girl was living with this elderly couple as they were her only surviving family members. Their home is very close to The Good Life Orphanage.

After the death of her father, Constance’s mother who is around twenty six years old had no option but to return to her family as no one from her husband’s family cared for her and her child, she was by then also sick of the same disease and TB. Constance had to stop going to school because her mother didn’t have any cash to pay for her school fees and was too weak to do any job. After some months the condition worsened and her mother was admitted to a nearby health centre and placed under palliative care. She has been in this health centre for the past two months now but her condition has become more serious recently.

Constance used to cry a lot whenever she sees her friends going or coming home from school and her cry touched one of the neighbours who is also a member of our school P.T.A., she brought her plight to our attention. We hastily intervened by securing her a chance at St Bernadette Mary school as we followed the legal procedure of admitting her in GLO. We conducted our assessment and identified her as a very vulnerable child making us to report the incidence to the DCO who responded accordingly by giving us the go ahead of admitting her to GLO whilst she organises for her committal date.

Following the approval to commit Constance to The GLO we went to meet the elderly relations to discuss the next step, our visitors Dermot & Jackie accompanied Papa Kevin and Uncle Hemed. They were amazed at the very warm welcome they received, chairs were brought out of the nearby houses so they could have a good discussion about little Constance. They decided that the next step was to visit Mama Constance in the clinic.

Both Dermot & Jackie were nervous about the trip to the clinic they both put aside their fears and were moved to tears when they saw the old lady greet her niece. On seeing her daughter with her new school uniform and her exercise book, a large smile came across Mama Constance’s face as she knew her daughter was now going to have a good education and a good standard of care whilst keeping in close contact with her extended family.

Before they left the clinic to go back to the village, Papa Kevin asked was there anything the young mother wanted, she told him she was happy now that her daughter was going to The Good Life Orphanage and St Bernadette Mary School, it was then agreed that Constance & the elderly relations would visit Mama each weekend in The GLO vehicle which made her even more content.

After having the obligatory sodas, they returned to the village where Constance said goodbye to everyone but as she is nearby they can visit her whenever they want to.

Constance is now in KG1 at St Bernadette Mary School under the watchful eye of Madam Magdalena, she has now joined the family in Kilroe House where she will quickly adapt to life within The Good Life Orphanage.

Once she settled in Kilroe House, Constance received some new clothes as she had nothing to bring, Anne Houricane who works in Dermot’s office and is a good friend of Mama Mary sent over some dresses belonging to her grand-daughters, a kind gesture which made a little girl this side of the equator happy.

It is difficult for us to comprehend just how devastating HIV/AIDS has been to generations here in Africa but this Mama is now at peace knowing her little girl is being cared for and receiving a good education whilst still remaining nearby, it is a humbling experience for us all. Life is indeed precious but also very tough for people living in poverty and fighting to survive against all the odds.

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