a post by Lauren
Children’s day in Mozambique is a good day. It is the only country that I know of that really celebrates children. The city buzzes with parties, balloons, concerts and all things fun for the kids. Masana is no different. The weeks leading up to children’s day we usually have an increase in numbers. Fun things are bound to happen. This year was particularly fun.
The morning of our fun day, we had a few of the normal arguments and scuffles. Life on the streets can be tough and sometimes those problems are brought into Masana. The older boys want to show that they rule the roost and the little ones provoke each other into tears. Most days we see little boys who have had to grow up too fast. Life on the streets takes so much of a child’s soul. We see young boys who are making very unwise decisions in their fight to be men on the streets.
But children’s day is a day to forget about that. Children’s day is about being a child. Not about being a street child.
Mozambique has a water park. It’s pretty amazing for a water park in Maputo. We piled all 40odd boys into the cars and off we went.
It was time to celebrate being a child.
The waterslides were a source of screams and laughs for the brave. The little pools provided hours of fun for the little ones of Masana. The large grass area for soccer and trampolines a fun way to warm up in the sun.
For those few hours, every single one of those kids were just that. Kids. Some of them needing the hand of Mr Ian to take them down the slide or shouting to make sure that one of us were watching as they dove underwater. The older boys played like kids. For those few hours life and the worries of the streets was nonexistent. There were no enemies. There was no one trying to prove his man hood. All we had were a group of 40 children playing.
It was one of the most beautiful things I have seen in a long time. Sometimes I forget that these boys are young. Their childhood needs to be celebrated. Although life on the streets sometimes forces a child to lose his innocence there are always glimpses, moments where the boys show us who they are underneath the ”street child”.
I am grateful for those moments where the boys can let their guards down and play like kids. A moment of how life should be. Letting these boys just be kids… Not just streetkids….