So yesterday was such an inspiring and emotional day for not only myself but the whole group.
A local coach (Elizabeth) who was on the teaching course over the last 2 days set us up to visit a school in the slum… Before we left for the school we had chance to interview Elizabeth over lunch, she told us some heartbreaking stories which really opened the eyes to the people listening. She warned us that the school we was going to see was where she has rescued a number of children from abuse and disturbing behaviour; including drug trafficking and prostitution of children, to earn a income for the household. One story that really captured my attention was about a boy named George. George is from the slums, doesn't know his farther therefore his mother was a single parent. George was used from a young age; by the time he started walking George was used for drug trafficking to and from the airport due to his vulnerability, he did this for a number of years as he was growing up due to him being unsuspecting to border police.
After the interview we headed to the school for a big fun filled session with all the kids, surprisingly a controlled order to the children was created with them all sitting down facing us for us to perform our HIV/AIDS demonstrations, just a little more prompting and encouraging and the messages became effective. From this Elizabeth took over and asked 6 pupils of her karate students to come out to perform a routine to us and the rest of the school. Immediately the recognition of George was obvious as he was the most passionate child in the performance, his facial expressions and concentration levels revealed he may have had a traumatic childhood.
After numerous continuous routines, praise was sprinkled over the participants from the CWB team (Kelly, Reilly, Sam, Richard and I). Whilst the team was getting mobbed by the rest of the school Elizabeth grabbed my attention and called me over with a very shy timid boy standing beside her. She then introduced him to me, it was George. She explained more of his personal story to me, meanwhile emotions ran through George like a tidal wave… I crouched to his level held him, looked him in his eyes and explained to him I was proud, impressed and relieved that he had turned his life around, suddenly tears started rolling down his checks,his lip was wobbling and soon his head was buried into my stomach, all I could do was hug him and reassure him he was safe. The tightest grasp around my waist demonstrated that inspiring words were not a present regularly in George's life, or hearing it from another person apart from Elizabeth.
Intrigued and left with emotions sky high I wanted to know George that little bit more as I walked by his side me and the team were shown to where his life had changed… The karate school within the school we was present at… A small empty room that consisted of inspiring posters and a hard worn punch bag was George's safe haven. This continued to us being shown 'simple' movements which obviously wasn't all right this produced the biggest smiles on everyone's faces, laughter and enjoyment bouncing from the four walls we stood in.
We was later informed that George and a couple of the others are off to South Africa this weekend to defend there title in karate, George promised me he'd come back with a gold medal and to be honest I wouldn't doubt that promise! George is really looking forward to learning more about cricket and thinks he'll be good at that too!
All I can say what an amazing kid! Nothing has inspired me more than he has; but not to mention the woman who has a heart of gold( Elizabeth), who is now funding George's sister to attend school to ensure George and his family are now safe. Not to mention rescuing handfuls of small girls that are being mistreated and taking them to children's homes; which we should be visiting on Saturday. We have got so much to look forward to in the next coming days…