As there is not a lot to update on whilst Prossy is recovering I thought I would jot down some of the thoughts and feelings that this trip has provoked in me.
For those of you reading this with no knowledge about Prossy’s past, her injuries were caused when she was just a year old and her mother left her alone with a candle beside the bed that she was laying on. The candle fell over onto the mattress and, as she was so young, she was not able to move herself out of harms way so she was in there until somebody was able to get her out. Before Prossy, her mother had a son that died in same circumstances and, after the incident with Prossy, her mother was never seen again. It is a tragic story for everyone involved and I can’t help feeling sorry for the mother also who is somewhere out there bearing this pain too. Prossy came to the attention of the Amazing Love School in Kabale, Uganda and since then has been attending the school and living with her elderly grandmother who has health concerns of her own. The treatment she is having here in Mwanza is the first she will have had for the injuries she sustained.
I don’t think I am exaggerating to say that I have a strong connection with this little girl. It is very difficult for me to explain this in words but, despite us not being able to speak with each other fully, she seems very happy around me and I get the same feeling with her. This has made me feel quite sad about the prospect of leaving her and to think of what her future might look like with no family support (both emotional and financial) whatsoever when her grandmother passes away.
Before I go on I think it’s important to think about what ‘help’ is as what my western mind thinks is help might not be classed as help in another culture. Personally, when I think about how to help her I am thinking about her life opportunities, access to services such has health care, a decent education and a strong family-like support network. Ignoring the bureaucracy and logistics of it all, you can probably imagine that my heart just wants to bring her home with me and provide her with all of these things but my head tells me that it is very difficult to know whether that is in her best interests.
During my studies I have read a lot about cultural identity and the impact it can have on children as they get older. Whilst I think that with a conscious effort this impact can be reduced, it would still be a major concern of mine and something I would have to think long and hard about before doing something like that. That being said, with the hardships that she is almost certainly going to face in her future, I guess it would come down to weighing up the lesser of two evils. It would be different if she could make an informed decision herself but, as she is only 3 years old, I think it is a big call to make about another person’s life and the potential negative impact would make me very cautious indeed. Being out here, I can completely understand why some people choose to adopt after experiencing some of these countries and I believe they have the best of intentions when doing so. I’m sure everyone will have their own opinion on this…
Realistically though, I am not currently in a position to do this myself even if I did believe that it would provide her with more than she would lose, which I do by the way, so for now I will continue to support her in any way I can from the UK. Prossy is a beautiful and incredibly smart little girl with so much potential …lets hope that with this support, and the love and warmth she is provided at the Amazing Love School, the future will be bright for this little tiger.