March 2012 Report
There is no gentle pace here, despite the lavish display of God's creativity. One morning, my neighbours in the flat below, were stationary, indicating right into our small village, when a white van with driver on the phone, drove straight into the back of their solid Audie at 60mph. He had no driving licence, no insurance and my neighbours now have no car. The same afternoon, another neighbour was knocked off his bike and was transported to hospital with serious injuries. Meanwhile, my downstairs neighbours, presumably their equilibrium not yet restored, left an oil lamp burning for the night and woke up choking and unable to breathe as black smoke swilled round the newly painted flat. When I saw them, all I could see was the whites of their eyes! When confronted with dire circumstances, dire remedies are needed. I drove miles to find champagne and smoked salmon, so we could sit down to an imperious lunch amongst the vine bushes with our backs to the grime!!
The harsh realities of life in the squatter camp continues - three shacks burnt down last weekend leaving the families with NOTHING. The police think it was arson, which brings me possibly to the misguided belief that by favouring these victims, we are encouraging others to burn down their homes, hence breeding further dependence. If this is the case, it is a frightening conundrum to which I have no answer.
At last, we have English being taught an hour a day in every Primary School in the valley. Project Spark is paying for the extra teacher, who was chosen for her tenacity, the ability to work hard, to lead and take responsibility of the little ones. Some find!!! A new learning centre for pre-school children has been set up by Kusasa in the middle of the squatter camp and we have provided much of the play equipment which I brought from the UK two weeks ago. Goodness me, have I only been back two weeks, it sure feels like years!!!
- Sue Simmons, Project Spark, 3rd Floor
- 12 Gough Square
- EC4A 3DW