Making New (Little) Friends

About 15 toddlers showed off for us today at the Elton John Masibambisane Center. They sang “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” and “Baa, Baa, Black Sheep.” They also proudly recited the days of the week and the months of the year. The Elton John Masibambisane Center provides daycare services to people who live in Eldorado Park, Kliptown Mandela Square, and Slovo Park. The singer donated the land for the center, which provides services ranging from psychosocial support to homework assistance. At the end our visit, Maria Grigoropoulos handed us what she called biscuits, but what we know as sugar cookies. We then headed to Soweto to the Othandweni Family Care Center. The center is home to 90 children, who cannot live with their families for many reasons, including abuse. The children live in different cottages, based on age and gender. During our visit, we saw the nursery, which houses 30 children up to the age of 4. We played with some of the children and Maggie Dick even made a new friend, a little boy who seemed to be enthralled by her as she led him by the hand around the room. When we started to leave, he reached out to her and started to follow us. But something else caught his attention and he moved on.

–Elizabeth Mugo