Memory has a way of embellishing, omitting, and altering life events, and as with any reflective writing, the absolute truth can become skewed. Sophia and the other girls in classes 4 through 6 recently worked with our Full Circle Director to write down their stories as they recalled them.
Sophia beautifully and bravely shared her recollection of her past. In doing so she stated that her father was stabbed to death and her mother was killed in a car accident.
Upon reading Sophia’s story, Fratern, our Managing Director, called the guardians who care for Sophia during the school holidays and verified that her father died of natural causes and her mother fled. We cannot know how Sophia’s grandmother explained her parents’ absence to her. We do, however, know that Sophia’s past—as with all of our kids—was difficult and tragic. We could have omitted those “inaccurate” details from Sophia’s writing, but we chose to leave them. It may not be the absolute truth, but it is Sophia’s truth. Conversely, we also want to make sure that we remain honest with you on this blog.
This also brings up some important questions:
What is the best way for us to help our kids cope with their past?
How can we best address our kids’ complex emotional needs?
What do inconsistencies in stories about our pasts reveal about ourselves and others?
One of our main priorities in 2012 is to help our children emotionally. All of the kids TFFT supports have been through a lot, and we will never know for sure the exact complexities of some of their pasts. Meghann will spend her much of her time in Tanzania next month meeting with individuals who are experts in this field. We will search for a social worker who will then work with our kids on an individual basis.
We will keep you updated on our progress in finding the right person to work with the kids. Meghann leaves for Tanzania tomorrow, so let’s wish her safe travels, “Safari njema!”