My favorite recess game was called “What’s the time, Mr. Wolf?” Have you ever played?
One kid is chosen to be Mr. Wolf, who answers each time the rest of the players call out to ask him what time it is. With every reply, everyone slowly but surely walks closer to Mr. Wolf, until he responds, “It’s dinner time!” Then a game of tag begins where Mr. Wolf tries to catch all the villagers who have been trying to reach him.
I thrived in the anticipation we felt as everyone silently moved forward together, nervous for when he would begin to chase us. There was something special about tiptoeing closer to our goal: eyes wide; butterflies in our stomachs; ready to run when the time came.
But what if instead of moving forward with excitement, you find yourself frozen in fear?
That used to be the case for Shamtamma and her girls.
After experiencing a violent marriage, Shamtamma was left to raise her daughters alone. With the pandemic affecting income opportunities significantly, she found herself needing to spend most of her time travelling far to work as a hired labourer. Her three young girls know well the risks of being left alone all day – they were vulnerable to traffickers, meaning the nerves they were experiencing were anything but exciting. Kiran, Madhu and Mosillamma spent a lot of time hiding in their hut from the dangers outside.
Thankfully, Shamtamma knew where she could find help. She reached out to our community health workers who are now able to keep a watchful eye on the girls while she is at work each day. The girls enrolled in one of our schools and even though education is still virtual, they are protected and supported by our teams and wider network.
Instead of hiding every day from the dangers of their environment, Kiran, Madhu and Mosillamma are able to rest in the comfort of a caring community and look forward to the time when in-person school returns, and they can run and play.
The security of education means that they are able to let go of their fears and begin to dream about where life will lead. And, it means endless hours of silly recess games, too!
Your support brings this kind of freedom to children in India, freedom to laugh, play, learn, and grow up.
Help a Child GET SCHOOLED today.
Stories are real, all names and photos have been changed for protection, and are representative.