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The work ahead is for us to keep them smiling

With the rest of the day’s starting off at day break to give time for travel, today begins  slightly after noon since we need an hour to travel to Bishara’s village.

Bishara is the second girl whose little footsteps I shall be following for sometime to build a story of the transformation of her life and the impact of our assistance.

While Bisahra’s story on one hand tells a tale of the strong grandmothers of Africa, the other shows you how one little girl clothed in nothing but a strong persona fought adversity.

Search for water

The search for water and pasture for their herd is what drove Bishara’s mum and dad miles away from their home.

Hoping that the neighboring land would after a few days, maybe weeks, restore some milk to feed their children.

They went for several days without food let alone water to drink,and as if to protect their mother back at home and contain her worry in her frail age,the parents kept Bishara’s failing health a secret.

Little Bishara as we first saw her

Word only got to her grandmother when she was too emaciated and she made plans to get her. On her departure, she did not carry promises of a better place away from the drought, but Bishara’s life.

She was later brought to the Wajir hospital after which our outreach teams singled her out in our emergency response and put her in our stablization centre for days.

Upon recovery, she later graduated to the blanket supplementary feeding programme (BSF)  where she’s now receiving a bi-weekly ration and medical assesment to keep her going.

We found her resting on her grandma’s laps and you can tell the bond goes beyond simple playmates.

On seeing the camera, she hides and cries asking to be picked up and perhaps taken into the house for the much needed afternoon nap.

After a while, she loosens up and walks to a group of children swinging at a nearby tree for some fun but when she looks around and realizes her grandma is out of sight,she comes back running.

They now pull to a sitting position and engage in some form of play which they both seem to understand best.

I try to reach to her to shake my hand but again,she retracts and buries herself in her grandma’s flowing attire as if sending the signl that we have overstayed.

It is at this point I discover how hard a communicator’s job is. As the person charged with telling the story I have to negotiate my way through everything but sometimes walls are built before I introduce myself the cameras instill fear and my pen and paper look intimidating.

Best friends Bishara and her Grandma Amina

I walk away, bid my goodbyes and can see her sigh with relief as she finally sticks her sticks her small hand out of her hideout and perhaps silently sigh with relief that  am finally out of her comfort zone.


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