Recently I watched a clip on internet, an interesting conversation between a mother and her 5 year old girl. The girl was crying uncontrollably and the mother asked her why she was crying. This is how the conversation went:
Mother: Why are you crying? Girl: because I don’t want to be an adult. Mother: Why? Girl: Because it is not fun, it is boring to be an adult.
Last Christmas I celebrated with Children from 22 of 30 outstations in my parish. We had organized a children choir competition. The song was about the Pontifical Holy Childhood and what it stands and teaches the children.
The children, dressed in yellow and White – the Pontifical colours, took the stage one group after the other to present the song. This was the first Children event in our parish.
The challenge we have here in our mission is that many children do not get a chance to be children. Girls are married as young as 10 years most of the time to old men as second, third or fourth wife. By the time they are twelve they are already mothers. Many young boys do not get to go to school instead they spend their childhood grazing cattle.
Men do not do much in the family, they spend a lot of time strolling from one village to another, from one market place to another to politic and look for girls to marry. It is a very unfortunate reality.
Women are the ones who do most of house chores, bulding the mud houses, milking cows, looking for food, water, firehood, washing and many others. Very few men take good care of their families.
On this occasion, I deliberately asked all the outstations to prepare children for the event including those married. The day was very extraordinary. Despite the draught devastating the zone at the moment, many outstations managed to bring their children some from as far as 100km from the station where the event was held.
The children braved the scorching sun waiting for their turn to present their song. We had children as young as 3 years old participating. Many were overwhelmed by the fact that they were taking stage for their first time in life. With the help of Fr. Eric Lacandula who came to led me a hand during the festivities, we got the first and the second winners who carried home big trophies. All the children got a sweet as a gift from the Child Jesus.
This event wil be taking place on every Christmas mainly to campain for children’s rights among the Maasai community especially right to be a child. Slowly we are getting men on board on this compaign. We believe with proper teaching and sensitization we will win many to the right track.