A Mother’s Dream
“When I first began visiting Darfur,” says Patricia Parker MBE, Kids for Kids Founder and CEO, “I saw little children, no more than three or four years old, tied with rope to their family’s huts. I was aghast. I could not think of any reason for why children would be put in such dangerous situations by their own mothers.
Speaking to mothers, I could tell they loved their children so much, but saw no other option. When children are young, a mother can tie her baby with cloth to her body as she travels the four or five hours walk to fetch water. But as the child gets older she cannot manage a heavy infant and the jerrycans she must carry – her family’s only supply of water for the day. What could they do? There was no chance of a neighbour watching their children as everyone in Darfur is carrying out the same chores, walking hours to fetch water, tending livestock, and keeping their own children safe. Mothers do not want their two and three-year old’s crawling off, so they often have no alternative but to tie their children to their huts, keeping them secure while they are gone fetching water. Can you imagine?
Every mother I spoke to dreamt of sending her children to Kindergarten. They know that education is the way out of poverty. This is why we started building Kindergartens, but it also helps with this challenging time for a little one and her worrying mother.
Of course, there are many compelling reasons why children need to go to school early – in Darfur many cannot start until 9 or 10, or later. Many mothers can only afford to send their eldest son to school. If children start education late they have little chance of reaching their full potential. Children grow up very early in Darfur with virtually no childhood as survival is something every member of a family has to help with, even little ones. Not only do our Kids for Kids’ Kindergartens provide an early education to children, but mothers are no longer forced to tie their children to huts to stop them wandering into the desert. Mothers can go about their daily chores knowing not only are their children safe, but they are learning, and from the earliest age possible. They are on the path out of poverty.
You may have seen our ‘Give a Goat’ gift suggestion, but the idea of donating to Kids for Kids on behalf of a loved one for any occasion can extend to any of our projects. Choose your gift from our Shop now.
Please can you help us continue to build Kindergartens, keeping children safe, and giving them the chance every child deserves at a better future? You can adopt a whole Kindergarten and give it a name of your choice or help provide educational toys, plant shade and fruit trees outside it or educate a child for a year. You choose! Please tell your friends about this project and encourage them to donate. We have to build more schools as soon as possible.