Out of the Games Cupboard

A random assortment of reflections, musings and a running commentary on life.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

sad news...

Do you find that sometimes news articles just make you despair? The scale of man's inhumanity to man often seems limitless. Reading this article had this affect upon me.

The burning of witches is nothing new of course. But it's not something you expect to read about in our modern, enlightened world. I found it particularly poignant/harrowing as Lisa and I support Plan UK and are linked to a girl living in Kenya. She lives in the east of the country and so, hopefully, has avoided this event. However, the area in which she lives was a recognised 'hotspot' during the recent unrest.

When we receive her letters, they tell of the life of a child, much as Ellie would describe. Her living conditions are basic; she has to walk to collect water and has to travel some distance to go to school. She had malaria when younger which nearly killed her. She and her brother live with her grandparents as her parents work in Nairobi. Her life is undoubtedly somewhat harder than Ellie's and yet, she describes the pleasure of going to school, of singing, of playing with her friends, of being with her family. She loves drawing and the pictures we've received show a child's view of perspective and the world around her - they are magically innocent.

Our experience of writing to her and, even more, of her replies has made me realise how similar people are; in every culture children are loved; children the world over love to sing, dance, play and make sense of their world. For their parents putting food on the table and having water to drink are universal needs. So I was unprepared for the barbarity, prejudice and sheer medievalness of this act. If I was racist I could think that "they" don't know any better. However, I am NOT a racist and I know that ALL humans know better. Fear, mistrust, superstition and the mentality of a mob may explain this atrocity, but nothing can justify it. We cannot radically alter the world that she and Ellie grow up in but I hope that the way they see the world grows with them.

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