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?’