Column Astrid – September 2022
Children have their own unique way of looking at the world and at life in general.
They usually experience life more intensely than adults do. Just look at playing children. Everything is fantastic and they often roar with laughter, running up and down from the one great thing to the other. Their little eyes beaming with delight.
I often wonder what goes on in the beautiful little heads of the children at Noah’s Ark. They are our youngest children within Victory4All. Very often you’ll find them in a very happy state, having loads of fun with each other or during the activities.
However, many of these tiny people have this sombre vibe around them. You can often see pure fear and helplessness in their little eyes. It’s nearly impossible for them to frolic lightheartedly through life like they should at this young age.
Of course we are aware that they often suffer under the circumstances in which they grow up. Unsafe bonding, constant threats, bad medical care and not experiencing enough love is a lot to take in for a young child.
When they start at Noah’s Ark they aren’t yet able to talk about what they are going through. After a while though we learn more about their lives when they start sharing things. And our staff also knows a lot about what goes on in the locations the children live in.
One of the biggest problems is alcohol abuse. This hurts the children tremendously. (Grand-)parents who are drunk often and leave the children to fend for themselves, have no money left for food and show aggressive behaviour, cause a fundamental lack of safety in the children. And even when it’s not their own family, the children still get exposed to a lot of drunk people in the overpopulated townships.
All of these hard things are experienced very intensely, especially by young children. They are very vulnerable. That is why we believe that it is very important to offer them a safe haven where they are allowed to be a child, where they are heard and are positively stimulated.
This is actually true for all the children in the Victory4All programmes. Learning how to read and write is important, but we think it’s much more important for children to have hope for the future. That they learn that Father God loves them and that His loving eyes are affectionately seeing them.
Hopelessness is then replaced by bright shining stars in the children’s eyes.