Today I gained new energy. Thanks to four lovely ladies – the mothers to four of the participants. It was the first parent meeting for Play on Wheels. And for the first time I realized that this program is not only life changing for the participants, it is of incredible value also for the mothers and guardians of the participants.
First of all they are beyond happy and thankful for the progress that their beloved children have made. When telling us about the positive physical and behavioral development they have noticed since their children started attending Play on Wheels only three weeks ago their faces were lightened up. The majority of the time they spoke in Xhosa (their first language) though – a language which I don´t know many words of. But from their facial expression I could easily tell when they were describing the change they have experienced in their children. In that moment there was special glow in their eyes, smiles on their faces, laughter, giggling and an all over positive body language. It does not require you to know Xhosa to understand the signs of happiness.
Secondly, Play on Wheels has also provided the mothers with the opportunity to spend some time on their own. A luxury they have never had before. Because taking care of a person with a disability is a more than a full time job. By giving Play on Wheels the trust to care for their children three days a week gives them the chance to search for jobs, go to the hospital and leave the house without having to leave the child alone and locked inside. Basic activities that most of us take for granted that we can do – vital opportunities that can mean the world for these ladies. This is a great example on how Play on Wheels not only have a tremendous impact on the participants, but also on the community.
I am beginning to see the whole picture. And that fills me with new strength.