Live your dream

by sandy on May 15, 2010

We have just watched the triumphant return of the young 16 year old, Jessica Watson into Sydney Harbour, after circumnavigating the globe in her small pink yacht, alone.

She has been without the touch of another human for 210 days, braving the elements of the notorious Southern Ocean. Her arrival through the Heads of Sydney Harbour was heralded by a tumultuous welcome of tens of thousands of people, lining the foreshore around the Sydney Opera House, a massive flotilla of hundreds of boats and the Prime Minister of Australia, Kevin Rudd.

She was clearly overwhelmed with emotion, on stepping onto land and being embraced by her parents and siblings. Despite this and in the face of this incredible reception, she was so composed, it was startling for one so young.

The Prime Minister said in his welcome speech, he had asked her by satellite phone on Australia day this year (January 26), when she was 5000 kilometres to the west of the Cape of Good hope no where near any land, anywhere, what message would she like to deliver to Australians. She said ‘Live your dream’.

Somehow this usually trite sentiment took on monumental proportions, in light of what this slight young girl has achieved.

It made me pause and think about the orphans and the likelihood of their being able to live their dreams.

There are many amazing examples of the boys from Jabulani Khakibos Kids, an organisation that looks after boys who once were street kids in Johannesburg, fulfilling their potential. In a sense, is this not an achievement just as great. If once you were a street kid, and now you have a career as a result of succeeding through school and university?

What can we do further to ensure that many more children have the opportunity to ‘live their dream?’

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Anne Powell May 15, 2010 at 11:51

A teenager, growing up in a relatively affluent society in any country in the world can dare to dream – whether the dream is to follow a certain profession, become a sports star, or join a future mission to Mars. What is required is the courage to follow that dream and the determination and willingness to do the work required to let the dream come true.

A street kid in Johamnnesburg might dream of having a nice house to live in, the opportunity to go to school, of knowing he will not go hungry, and of having the chance to rise above the street life. Jabulani Khakibos has made it possible for a few of these kids to “live their dream” by taking them in and providing all these things and the opportunity to escape from the street life. Hopefully they also help these boys to find the courage and determination to keep going to fulfil their dream of a secure future.

The size of a dream is a relative thing. For the little children we knit for, the dream might be a whole lot smaller. If you are a five year old orphan, living in a tin shack, often cold and hungry, and you see some kids in your neighborhood wearing a bright coloured hat, wrapped in a snuggly blanket that they can call their own and perhaps clutching a little handmade book full of wonderful pictures……. your dream might just be to be able to have those things too.

As Kasers we are letting these ‘little’ dreams come true. We are providing, not only warmth, but we are helping to spread awareness of the plight of these children and with each hat and blanket we are sending the message that these kids are loved and that someone in the world cares. In a way, we are ensuring that these kids get to live out a small childhood dream – being warm and having something to call their own. Maybe what we are doing will let some of them dare to have an even bigger dream, but it’s hard to dream when your are cold, hungry and scared.

Perhaps someday, we will open a newspaper and read a quote from a famous South African politician or scientist which tells how he was a child in a squatters camp who realized at the age of five that he could dare to dream of something better when a kind lady wrapped a beautiful blanket of squares around his shoulders.

Anne Powell

Dawne Smith-Sliming May 15, 2010 at 18:12

The youth of today have so much potential. If the playing field was even, across the board, the youth of every country would make our world a better, healthier and safer place. All they need is a fair chance.

Jessica Watson is a great reminder of the power of youth and what personal motivation and commitment can achieve when our youth have support to reach their dreams.

sandy May 16, 2010 at 04:13

That day will be one I will dream about. The one where we hear a prominent South African saying his or her life was changed by a blanket and the warmth and hope and message of love that came with it.

Jeanne Haessler May 17, 2010 at 05:45

I agree that we never know how far our caring touch can extend, or how deeply it sinks into another’s heart and soul that they are not forgotten, they have worth, they’re important. Important enough for us to take time to handmake them something. No caring gesture is ever wasted and KAS is a shining example of that. I must say in catching up reading this blog that I found the bright colors evident in Nkosi Haven inspiring for future color schemes for squares and garments and hats. And that small piece of art, Sandy, the 6×4…wow I’d love to own something like that. What a thought that perhaps one day I might own something like that–I wish those artists success. I’d love to see a double-flow going on…our stuff to SA and sometimes, we could purchase art from them…don’t know how but it would be so neat. :)

Elizabeth May 17, 2010 at 11:45

Sandy said “What can we do further to ensure that many more children have the opportunity to ‘live their dream?’ ”

We can send squares, beanies and warmth. We can help the carers and ‘teachers’ at the creches providing these poor, desperate children with care and the beginnings of an education. We can send scrap books and stationary. We can send money – cold, hard cash to ease the way in a cold, harsh world. We can send our thoughts and our prayers. We can send our love, one square at a time.

susan gillman May 27, 2010 at 08:13

I think a dream would be that one day some children from the informal settlements say -We knew that someone cared about us and it made adifference to our lives.
I love that so many young people do follow ther dreams and they they have the strength and freedom and the persisitence to do that. What a wonderful generation we have and lts hope that a lot of children from Africa can step up and be part of it.

Zanny May 31, 2010 at 04:07

I am sure that many of the blanket wrapped orphans of today will be able to say one day that KASERS were the start in their needy lives toward their “dreams coming true”, and yes, what a day it will be when many will thank all the knitters and crocheters for helping keep them warm at a time of despair in their lives, and giving them hope. Visiting Soweto, meeting many KAS supporters, being at presentations of blankets etc during my recent visit to South Africa with Sandy, Roger, Kalai , Cressi , my sister Ronda, her daughter Erin, was an experience never to be forgotten and made us all realise just what a God sent cause all the supportive and keen knitters and crocheters all over the world were involved in. Am sure as time passes there will be many more such enthusiastic and caring knitters and crocheters out there busy making squares – WHAT A LOVELY THOUGHT!

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