IT BEGINS WITH YOU
They wore a cloth of despair, what they saw forth was nothing but a bleak future, after all nothing more could be expected from these poor innocent children who merely survived on drugs and shoe fix glue. It was in 2012 when I first had an experience with these children, it was a blessing in disguise for it opened my eyes to view the world in another dimension and to discover the role of one person on a planet of billions of people, I discovered my role!
Dear readers, my name is Muco Samantha a third year medical student and a SCORPion. My experience was a sad but an educative one. In 2012 I was selected in a program of UNICEF Burundi called “Enfant journaliste” roughly translating to “Journalist child” in English. The program’s activities ranged from training selected children about their rights and basics of journalism to them becoming advocates of other vulnerable children through writing articles, using social media and mass media. We were trained to become voices of the voiceless!!
It didn’t take long for me to discover how there were children suffering a great deal. It was on my first report in 2012 whose topic was “Children abusing drugs”. We went to Lake Tanganyika where we found fellow children who agreed to share their testimonies. What my ears heard that day, was way past my thoughts. These children told us they didn’t have shelter, food and clothes; one could even tell on their appearance. They went further and told us that the reason they abused drugs was to avoid feeling the cold of the night, mosquito bites and to forget all problems of life. When someone gave them 100 or 200 Burundian Francs they bought cannabis and when they had not even a single coin they inhaled shoe fix glue, all of which didn’t build them but destroyed them further and made their lives more miserable.
Shocked would be an understatement to what I felt after hearing testimonies from these poor innocent children, my mind was puzzled by many questions. If I were a billionaire, I would help these children; if I was a government member I would advocate for them; those were my thoughts but unfortunately I was only a small kid with no money and no big name. However, I kept wondering; what can I do? Is there anything that I can do to make the situation a little bit better? What is my part??
I found that we don’t need big things to impact our communities, start with those small actions of love to people surrounding you. All men are created equal and everyone deserves to be cared for, loved and respected. Spread love and respect everyone. Be the change you want to see as quoted by Ghandi.
In a nut shell, my experience with children; taught me that everyone wherever they are, is able to contribute something for the world to become a better place. Mother Teresa didn’t have much but devoted her life to making others happy, Malala Yousafzai was young and not rich but fought for education for girls in her community and Dennis Mukwege is devoted to healing people physically and psychologically in his medical career. The world is immensely in need of love and kindness and it starts with you. As Robert Baden Powell quoted, try and leave this world a little better than you found it and when your turn comes to die, you can die happy in feeling that at any rate you have not wasted your time but have done your best.
About the Author
MUCO Samantha is a doing medical school at the University of Rwanda, a MEDSAR member interested in Human Rights and Peace worldwide.
Created: February 02, 2019
Revised: February 08, 2019