I vividly remember the last time I saw both my parents alive. My mother’s face as she drew her final breathe has been burnt in my memory and will never disappear.

I was seven days away from turning 16 when my mother transitioned from this world. Just like that on 4 March 2008, I was an orphan. I felt alone in the world, even though I was surrounded by people.

Only now in my adult life do I wonder how children younger than I was are going through life without the two people that contributed to their very existence. There is a little over 2 million of these children in South Africa. Some are living in orphanages, and some in child-headed homes.

My heart breaks at the thought of what people that have less than we do are doing during these difficult times. The pandemic has exposed the inequality and injustices of the world that we live in.

People that have been living and surviving on far less are now probably living on nothing.

This is what has made me and my family grateful during this difficult time. We have the means to buy groceries every month. We can still afford to pay the bond. Our needs are still met and we refuse to complain about things that we should not be complaining over. It’s a spit in the face of those that are less fortunate than we are.

But we can all do something, directly or indirectly.

Indirectly, we can tell the 2 million orphaned and vulnerable children of this country our stories of hope. We all have a story to share.

This is why this Cadbury Glass and a half Project speaks volumes to me. I know how it is to not have and to really need. I know how it feels like to be overwhelmed by the uncertainties of your life. Will I make it, will I not?

Years later, here I stand, a strong woman that knows how it feels like to go through fire and come out stronger.

This was made possible by the people that I met in my path. Friends that became sisters, and women that became mothers. They opened their arms and homes to me and allowed me to feel like a part of something.

They also allowed me into their worlds, sharing their stories with me, which gave me the strength to write my own.

My story to young children will be about finding the light at the end of the tunnel.

Light at the end of the tunnel

Once upon a time, there was a little girl that yearned for a little sister, 
She prayed to God every day and wished upon a shooting star.

One day, mommy brought home a baby and she named her Karabo,
Karabo means answer because God answered her prayer.

Karabo was a happy energetic baby but life was very tough,
Her mommy and daddy left her, but her heart was always full of their love.

She went through very dark times and always felt lonely,
She felt like God had forgotten about her, but continued to keep her faith closely.

Karabo thought that nobody loved her,
She always asked for strength to fight away the fear.

One day, she met a girl that would become her best friend, 
She shared everything with her and made sure she was never sad.

And like that, her days became brighter,
She would pursue her dreams to become a writer.

Every day she continues to dream, 
Like God, the sun’s rays will always beam

There’s a story in everyone