A Travellerspoint blog

The Other Side Of The Fence

-27 °C

This week I witnessed a horrible siuation which I can't shake from my mind... I was standing talking with a few people, then we heard a few loud thuds, and screaming and running. We looked up to see a small girl, probably about 9 years, running towards us holding her head and screaming, with a wide eyed, terrified expression, with the watchman walking slowly behind her.

After translation, it transpired that the girl and some friends were trespassing on the land to hunt for firewood. They had been caught the day before and verbally warned, but obviously had returned, and the watchman had wanted to teach them a lesson. He had wacked the girls head with something, probably wood, causing a 6 inch welt and enormous egg which was rapidly changing the shape of her head. Her head was bleeding, and she was clutching it and sobbing and shaking. It shocked me that someone could use such force on a child's head. We found out later that the girl's mother had died a few week's ago leaving her and her siblings orphaned. There were many other factors about the event that highlighted different approaches to situations and different cultural perspectives, which I am trying to understand. Big Hair and I were discussing the event afterwards and thinking about REAPs teaching about fast-growing trees to use for firewood, and various other practical ways that one could reach out to the surrounding families. Our friend Cait, from David's well-drilling course in North Carolina in 2009, visited us this weekend via a well drilling project, and it was interesting to hear about her work. (www.HowManyCows.com)
The firewood event sharpened our desire for the kind of work we want to be involved in after this training period, and a stark reminder of issues on the other side of the fence...



Jerry can queue

Jerry can queue

Posted by africraigs 01:24 Archived in Uganda

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Hi Em,

Sorry I hope that memory of the little girl is one that soon fades from your mind. I have no doubt that child abuse happens in the UK also, but obviously not in the open, as it was for that little girl you saw. Social work in the Uk does indeed help to prevent or uncover such incidences and support orphaned children at times of bereavement. Thats something Uganda wont have. I remember on the Africa Mercy the full time staff spoke a lot about the need for social work as it was something the culture didnt have, since much of care is done by family members - which is great! - that is , if you have a family!

Love xxx

by Jenny

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