The six year old Fatuma came to us in January of this year together with her little sister Jasmin. Her poor and simple former life could not be denied. We looked into the sad eyes of a dirty and uncared-for child. Our matron first had to remove all the dirt from Fatuma’s hair, and in the end cut it all off. Even when the uncle, who had taken the children in after their parents’ death, brought the two of them to us, we got such a shock because he was completely rundown himself!
His clothes were dirty and scruffy, he had no shoes, smelled, and looked tired and weak. The poverty was written on his face.
After the father died in 2011 of tuberculosis and the mother, who was also ill, disappeared without a trace, the brother of the father took in the two girls and his three own children. He ran a small farm to look after the family, but it was barely enough. Little to eat, no school, many people in a small space- this is what the life of the six year old looked like.
Fatuma came to us as a quiet, withdrawn girl. But day by day she becomes more trusting, and more and more often we see her laugh.