I stroke her long soft hair through the box. It feels like silk and her dress is so beautiful. One day I will take her home. Never have I see someone so beautiful. Never have I ever dared dreamed that I might be mother to something so precious. One day. One day I will take her home and she will be mine. My own precious baby.
A long line with several hundred children snakes its way from a colourful container set next to a school all the way out the school grounds and up the street. We are met at the gate by Joy. "Hello," she says, "I'm Joy," she beams her welcoming smile. We walk through the gate which is closed with some children lined up inside.
Two ladies sit at desks hunched over boxes filled with cards before a brightly colored container with wide open doors revealing a treasure of dreams. "This is where the children's Moola points are recorded," Joy says. "We currently have over 700 children on our card system." I look on as the children give their names and their card is extracted from the box. "Hoeweel wil jy spaar?" the lady asks. All of the children have cards that records each visit. They can choose to spend or save some or all of the Moolas they have earned. "Most of them save some or all of their Moolas," Joy says as I watch the young girl hand her card to a smiling man sitting at the entrance to the container. There is a look of awe and excitement on her face as she is about to step into this vault of dreams.
The little girl is now in the container and looking in excitement and awe at the shelves lined with items. "Do the children use their Moolas to get toys?" I ask. "No," Joy replies. "Many of them buy toiletries and other basic products that they can’t usually afford. Just the other day a young girl who had saved her points for a year came and cashed in. Did she buy herself a present? No, she bought clothing and toiletries for every member of her family."
“Just the other day one of the children’s parents, who works as a maid, was asked by her employer why she was looking through the garbage. She replied, ‘It’s recycling. My daughter does it. Do you know about recycling?’” The impact of love, of joy, of hope cannot be contained.
The little girl walks out the other side of the container, she is clinging to a box with both her hands. She looks lovingly at it as she carefully carries it with her. She turns it to show me, as a smile breaks across here face. The day has come. She holds her dream, her own precious baby.
For more information visit www.freshstart.org.za