Fun Times, Strong Minds


What’s your idea of fun? Everyone’s is different, of course, but for most of us it involves joy, laughter, maybe being scared (if you’re one of those haunted house/scary movie people), maybe the excitement of a big game, maybe a family outing for bumper boats… (One of our funniest family stories involves that last one!)

When life is hard, we often look for something fun, even if it’s just a 2 minute video we can watch on our phone for a laugh.

The girls at Touch the Slum live in a desperate place full of desperate people who are just barely hanging on. Caregivers are stressed beyond the breaking point, siblings are hungry or sick, the only ways to make money are dangerous or degrading.

There’s no laugh track in the slum.

But at Touch the Slum, one of our most fundamental beliefs is in the healing power of fun, of laughter, of dancing, of joy. It doesn’t matter if you have shoes or not when you’re dancing. It doesn’t matter if you didn’t had dinner or breakfast. It doesn’t matter — in those moments — that your father has died or your mother is sick.

I just found this quote on a quick internet search. This is universal among humans; you can find a lot of quotes saying the same thing:

Find a place inside where there’s joy, and the joy will burn out the pain.

Joseph Campbell

We can’t change the girls’ circumstances. Coming to class day in and day out to learn to read or sew a gomezi or braid hair isn’t a quick fix. A father killed in the war in the Congo or an auntie dying with HIV/AIDS can’t be forgotten.

But joy — laughter and hugs and dancing and a face turned towards the sunshine — helps our girls weather the pain they live in, and see that there is something worth working for, even in their hard world.

Anyone who has visited our compound — or Wells of Hope and Hopeland Schools, where they are beginning to understand the profound power of fun — will tell you first hand: the joy helps burn out the pain.

We thank you for all you do to keep the laughter and healing going!

Mwebele nnyo!


PS We are in need of diapers for all our (many!) babies. This project just needs $175 to be fully funded. We’d so appreciate your support!


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