I am awestruck by people who live through terrible situations, manage to cope and go on with their lives. These children are like that. While they’re certainly not thrilled with their conditions and happy to be alive, in many aspects they behave like teenagers who have not experienced the horrors they have. I watched as they played soccer, basketball, and were silly with kids around them. When it came time for their portraits, telling their stories and making drawings, they became very serious and somewhat withdrawn.
There was a long line of kids who wanted to be part of this. Benson Komachek, a social worker living and working in PADER, was my aide, interviewer, and gatherer of subjects. Benson told me that the kids understand how telling their stories helps them heal.
In all of my travels I find that poor people who struggle every day to get by are most gracious. They want to give, even just a cup of coffee. These kids gave me their pictures, their drawings and their stories. To them, I am eternally grateful.
By Errol Daniels