We continue to make every day Mandela Day for children in South Africa.
Today, in memory of his life, the Save the Children South Africa team in Limopop hosted a screening of the documentary God Grew Tired of Us with unaccompanied migrant children from our Children on the Move project at Tshitandani Child Care Foundation Shelter in Limpopo.
The documentary chronicles the arduous journey of three young Southern Sudanese men, John Bul Dau, Daniel Pach and Panther Bior, to the United States where they strive for a brighter future. As young boys in the 1980s, they walked a thousand miles to escape their war-ridden homeland, and then had to make another difficult journey to escape Ethiopia.
During their five year quest, they walked in search of safety while thousands died from starvation, dehydration, bomb raids and genocidal murder. Finally, they found relative safety in Kenya’s Kakuma refugee camp. In 2001, 3,600 boys, including John, Daniel and Panther, were invited by the United States to live in America. Assisted by an international charity, the three boys uproot their lives and once again embark on a journey, leaving behind thousands of other refugees who, in the course of their traumatic voyage, have become their adopted extended family. They learned to adapt to the shock of being thrust into the economically intense culture of the United States, learning new customs, adapting to new and strange foods, coping with the ordeal of getting, and keeping a job, or multiple jobs, while never forgetting the loved ones they left behind in Africa.
As the hardships in this story mirrors some of the experiences of children in our Children on the Move project, the screening allowed them to reflect on social justice issues, discuss their feelings on the documentary and how best they think their situation can be dealt with – thus providing meaningful insights that can assist in our programming on migrant children in South Africa and around the world. The eagerness to share needs to felt in the room as one child passionately said that "when we get an opportnity to tell our story, we use it."
At Save the Children South Africa, we believe that all children deserve to thrive in a safe environment, free from violence, no matter where they are from so the screening is also meant to inspire the children in our programmes by allowing them to think beyond their current situation and give them hope for a future.
Learn more about our Children on the Move project at www.savethechildren.org.za/COM
About Save the Children South Africa:
Save the Children believes every child deserves a future. In South Africa and around the world, we give children a healthy start in life, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. We do whatever it takes for children – every day and in times of crisis – transforming their lives and the future we share.