Would You Like To Hear My Story?

03/07/13

The drums beat a rhythm followed by the voices of the dancers. It is Center Day in Sierra Leone—a day of outreach to the local community through song, dance, games, and other activities. Hundreds of people look on as the recently formed Children of the Nations (COTN) Cultural Dance Troupe glide, shake, and spin through their well-choreographed display.

 
Suddenly the girls bring their hands together to indicate prayer and drop to their knees in unison. The microphone is passed to sixteen-year-old Mabinty and there is a collective murmur of surprise. More typically associated with sweet, giggly shyness than confident performance, Mabinty’s very involvement has already impressed. Now she is taking the microphone and center stage. Mabinty leads the assembly in prayer—“Father God, give us the talent to dance and sing for you.”
 
                       The children play a game during Center Day in Sierra Leone
                              The children play a game during Center Day in Sierra Leone.
 
“Would you like to hear my story?” Mabinty asks later, with a shy smile. It begins in the north of Sierra Leone where she lived until 2003. That was the year her mother died. “That time I was little. It [was] dry season. She was sick,” she explains. “It was pregnancy that killed her.” After that tragedy, COTN staff identified Mabinty, and partners and sponsors like you provided for her to move into COTN's Children's Homes. “I was happy,” recalls Mabinty. “Because I wanted to learn." Thanks to partners like you, Mabinty began school, and began to have hopes and dreams for her future.
 
                                       Mabinty was able to come into COTN's care shortly after her mother died in 2003.
Because of generous people like you, Mabinty came into COTN's care shortly after her mother died in 2003.
 
As Mabinty talks, she bashfully hides her broadly smiling face in her hands and giggles before answering questions. Beneath these actions however is a growing confidence and an enthusiasm for trying new things. When asked about the dance group, she says, “I started dancing in September. I wanted to learn to dance and sing. It’s my first time. I want to show my talent.” Visiting Venture Team members and consultants have also found in her a willing training partner if they want to go jogging. Then there are her regular contributions during Sunday church services.
 
                                       Today, Mabinty is a beautiful example of the difference your support can make
                   Today, Mabinty is a beautiful example of the difference your support can make in a life.
 
Mabinty shares her name with another girl in the Banta Children’s Village, and various nicknames have been used over the years to distinguish the two of them. One recent version is “Mabinty Wise Saying.” During Sunday church services, when the floor is opened up for “contributions” by any church member who would like to bless the gathering with a song, dance, or other offering, Mabinty has started to regularly offer “wise sayings.” She walks up to the front of the church and, after giggling for a bit while the congregation claps and cheers her introduction, she begins:
 
“Laugh and learn. Everyone makes mistakes.”
“A faithful witness does not lie but a false witness brings lies.”
“Any man that does not listen to advice does not learn.”
 
Mabinty learned these sayings from her friend Charles, one of the older boys in the Children’s Village. “He was the first person that told us about the wise sayings,” she says.” I find them in the Bible, in Proverbs. I pick out the ones that I like. I do it so that everyone can enjoy them. To show my talent. To let our church improve.”
 
Mabinty is a beautiful, giggling example of a child who is seeking to grasp the wide range of opportunities offered to her by people like you. Opportunities which lead to transformation—all because people like you care.
 
You can make a difference for children like Mabinty through child sponsorship!  Sponsor a child in Africa or the Caribbean today!
 

Comments

You have a lot of courage and guts to share your story publicly so that people come to know about your life and build their own views.