Dorothea has been scraping together every bit of money that she
can. The new school year begins this week, and she needs to buy a
new uniform if her granddaughter is going to attend high school.
The regulation blouse, skirt, socks, and shoes cost far more than
Dorothea has left at the end of one month, or even six months.
School attendance is a sacrifice of love and community here.
Dorothea and her granddaughter have been getting by on just one
meal a day for the last few weeks to save a few shillings. An empty
belly in exchange for an education. Dorothea has gathered small
amounts of money from her two remaining adult children, from her
neighbors, from her pastor and her prayer group. Money from anyone
she can think to ask. Everyone is asking at this time of year.
School fees, school uniforms, books.
Her granddaughter's parents both died in the past 18 months, and
Dorothea now holds Dinah's future in her hands. Hands with knuckles
swollen from arthritis and age and 60 years of cleaning houses
count out one crumpled small bill after another in the school
uniform store, praying that they will be enough. Enough to launch
her granddaughter into a future of promise.
Dorothea's story is echoed around the world. Mothers, fathers,
grandparents, communities making sacrifices to launch their
children into a better future. Everyone circles round to contribute
whatever they can, to fan the small flame of hope.