Chelsea Molder is one of 18 students from Ohio University, studying abroad in Zambia over winter intercession about media, society, and governance, through the Institute for International Journalism.
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
By Chelsea Molder,
in Lusaka, Zambia
Many of us who have not experienced working with children in other countries might think that the Zambian children are not enjoying life. This is not true. The S.O.S children’s Village in Lusaka, Zambia is a village for orphans that can grow up in a traditional home raised environment. There are about 18 host mothers that manage the homes with children of all ages, ranging from newborn to 18 years of age. The host mothers are then on their own to raise their twelve children. The new “family” then works like a normal family. The kids do chores, run errands, grow gardens, play, and attend school.
The kids at the S.O.S. Children’s Village are just like any other kid in the United States. They are actually much stronger since they are on their own. Yes they do have their host mothers, but this organization teaches them to be strong and develop personal responsibility at a young age. In the United States, when a child goes too close to danger, we run to them and pull them away to make sure they are out of harm. With these children, there is no one to stop them; they have to learn on their own. All of the children were very independent and this makes them stronger individuals.
There were so many similarities from the personalities of the Zambian children to American children. There was the troublemaker, the boy who everyone likes, the one always playing sports, and the girl who chatted with her girlfriends in a circle. These children are living their life to the fullest. They do not know that most people look at them in a sad way, wondering how they manage and live a happy life. The kids at the Village are taking what they have and making the best out it. I think that most people do not live their lives to the fullest with what they have and should keep these children in mind and be thankful for even the littlest things in life.