For months I've been fighting to help end poverty in Africa. To stop the civil war in Uganda and bring peace to a nation, to it's people, to the children that have never seen peace. This is not that country. This is a world all of it's own. One desperate to separate itself from the Africa I know and adore.
This Africa is brilliant in it's own way, and strong beyond belief. It is only in its beginning stages of change. Still unconsciously pulling away from the discomfort change can turn. Apartheid ended only years back,and I can only imagine that this is what the states were like after the civil rights movement. Here people with darker skin are still called 'colored' and there is a difference between 'colored' and 'black' Perhaps I'm just not used to the lingo, but I still get a strange feeling when I hear it.
The townships were a glimpse into the Africa I know. Small metal homes, cold, dark and dangerous. With an air of hope in the smile of a child, and a heartbreaking plea for help in tired face of his mother. There places with over 4.5 million people are out of site and out of mind. With such a strength of wealth between the poor and the middle class, the crime rate rises, and the education falters, because everyone is too afraid, or overwhelmed, to help 'them.' The government is beginning to help, but all too slow. For every 20 homes they build, 100 are torn down. It seems to be a half hearted effort for a well adapted problem. The 20 families living in those homes have the incentive to live better and strive for a better life because they are forced to get a job and stay at a certain income to pay for utilities, but what happens to those other 80? Displaced? Forgotten? The healthy alternative is a stronger emphasis on the school system. It could be a reach, but the out comes with huge advantages. Education, knowledge, the true fruits of growth, could change the entire world. The wisdom that comes with an open mind, the simple thought that there is more to know than that which is known at this present time. The humbling thought that comes to me and hopefully even to those millions of people in the townships and the displacement camps, that there is more to life than this moment. More to life than this place, than this time. Change. The possibilities inside even the small spaces of our personal universe that have yet to be discovered. Should those places in our hearts and minds be changed before the place where we lay our head? Do these places work dependently? Does one have to change before the other? Which one?
I can not wait for the day that these townships and the displacements camps in Uganda become memorials of the world we once lived. A place never to be seen again.
(Des and Luke want to be in the blog so here they are. They are from Ireland, and play rugby. Yes the rugby rule applies.)