There were more children than I expected - probably since it was a public holiday, other kids also decided to be part of the shelter for the day.
First they performed a few songs for us, most of em in Sotho so we understood little. I enjoyed observing the expressions of the Muslim children; the older ones seemed to stare in pity, the younger ones looked on with a mixture of curiosity, fear and wonder. One of them commented that the children seemed well dressed, to which I agreed. But I am certain they were told to were their best clothes for the "Youth Day celebrations"
We need to see more people whose needs of the day include finding food and shoes that fit. Guilty feelings enveloped me when I looked down at my own branded jeans and matching scarf, and added up the approximate cost of all I was wearing.
If I've got it right, most of these children are abandoned, or orphaned or their parents are too sick or too drunk or too poor to take care of them. Sigh. The injustices of the human race.
I felt an urge to pick each one up. Cuddle them. Each one is special. Each one deserves to be hugged.
Our youth are still suffering, They are still being shot and killed. The only difference is the killer is not the Apartheid police. Youth Day cannot be a celebration.