Today, we went to Thousand Hills Helpers, an establishment that helps people who suffer from HIV/AIDS. They provide a clinic so people can get medicine, they provide food twice a day for people free of charge, and they have a crèche (daycare) for little children. After taking the tour, I was amazed at how organized they are and how they run the program.
Dawn, the facilitator and the other volunteers have an attitude of giving and of helping others. I truly learned so much from her and admire her sense of duty to others. If each person does what he or she can to help others, it empowers someone else to step up and continue. These are the cycles that we need to keep alive. My only hope is that I can provide the same motivation to others in the work that I do. I have not opened any clinics nor have I impacted hundreds of people, but I would like to help one. Then two. Then so on and so forth. The work that I saw today at the community center and the commitment of each individual gave me a new sense of hope and the courage to do more.
Everyone has a story. Some stories have good beginnings and some have sad endings. Some people’s stories make you laugh and some make you cry. Then you get a story that encourages you despite the tears and the anger and the hurt and the pain. I heard one such story. One young guy, Lucky, poured out his story, one that you can’t imagine. One that is only on a PBS special or in a book. Well, he lived it. The amazing thing is not what he did, but what he’s doing. Instead of using his story as an excuse to have a poor life being bitter, he is trying to help others avoid the same situation. He wants to become a better man. Listening to his story and looking at the gleam in his eye and the spirit within, I know that he is already the man he seeks. I know some young men that would benefit from hearing his story and maybe they would also be encouraged.
You hear of negative things all over the world, but I saw a whole group of people who are making a change- one person at a time and I feel blessed to experience that in South Africa.