Sylverine and Camerika

Sylverine is 16 and lives alone with her little sister, Camerika.  Their mother died giving birth to Camerika, 4 years ago.  They used to be at the orphanage, arriving just after Camerika was born.  At a certain age, children are sent back to their village to re-assimilate with their people; aunts, uncles, cousins.  The thinking is that children should not live their whole lives in an orphanage.  It is better to go back to family when they are older and require less care.  To go back to where they belong.  So they were sent home.  But Sylverine’s family sent her back, insisting that she would be better off here because she has a school sponsor who pays her fees. They sent her little sister back with her.  Camerika waits at the orphanage for her sister after school and then they go back to a rented room. There are many children who are in far worse situations, but we were so very touched by this young girl.   We walked them home and asked Sylverine to describe her day.  “I get up at 5am, walk to fetch water.  Then I make the fire to warm the water to bathe the child.  I make something for Camerika to eat and then for myself.  We dress and go to school.  After school, I fetch my sister and head home.  Sometimes we eat at the orphanage. Sometimes my aunt sends money and I buy food for us.  Sometimes she helps with the rent, which is equal to a few dollars a month.”  We told her she is very brave and strong.  She said, “No, I am afraid and alone.”

6 comments on “Sylverine and Camerika

  1. Jacqui says:

    Hello, my name is Jacqui. I meet Carol quite recently through a friend and she babysits my 2 children. I am in awe of your work. God Bless both of you. I enjoy reading your daily posts. You both are very special people.

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  2. Judy OBrien says:

    Hi Terry and Carol, a heartwrenching story, to have to be responsible for so much at a young age. I’m sure you and Carol gave her some encouragement, thats your specialty. I’ll pray for all of you. Love ya

    Like

  3. Carlene nardi says:

    A day in the life of sylverine and camerika, it’s unconscionable. My heart hurts.

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  4. Kezia Lechner says:

    I have left comments, but don’t see them. Maybe I’m doing it wrong !!!! Profoundly moved by the photos and your journey !

    Like

  5. Kathy Tagliaferri says:

    It is painful to see such joy on children’s faces that have so little. It is certainly humbling and grounding to me. Carol and Terry there are no words for the expression of love, time and work of your efforts. God be with you always. Love you both!!! Be safe and well on your journey 🙂

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