This morning I woke up early to go down and help with breakfast. It was quite a change of pace. The kids were calm, tired, and bright eyed, waiting for a bowl of porridge, a small plantain, and two cookies. It was slow, easy and comforting, just what I needed at seven in the morning.
One boy stood in the doorway. Quite, apart from the group, barely ready to look anyone in the eyes. Maria Elena, our host mom and on-the-ground project director of Daisy's Children, revealed to me that he is abused by his grandfather. Yesterday he was cowering in the corner as Maria Elena checked him for bruises. After telling us his story, she hugged him and clutched his face saying "I love you so much. You are beautiful, you know that? You are so beautiful and I love you".
It nearly broke my heart wondering how many times he had heard that in his life; if Maria Elena was the only one to say it. I am so glad these children have someone like Maria Elena and a place like Daisy's Children to tell them they are beautiful and loved.
After breaking through his shell, we got him to play with us for a few minutes before we went back to the house for breakfast. He went from crying in the corner to running around with a truck and laughing like any other kid. Looking at him I said to the three others from Northeastern, "how could anyone want to hurt someone so adorable?". I don't think I can ever understand, but I can continue to work with organizations like this and to love each and every kid I meet with all my heart.
-Deirdre Judge, Northeastern University