WHERE'S HARRY ?
It’s so great when you get to know the boys names and sometimes some of their story, it’s one of those milestones in SOS and we don’t take that for granted because too often, there are so many that just come and go and we don’t get to know these details. But, when we do, it can feel like a ‘here we go’ moment in building relationship and making deeper connection.
And then there are those that we really get to know, spend time chatting with each week, sharing stories and we find ourselves looking for them as we drive up in our ambulance…saying to the team, I wonder where — is today?
Well, Harry was one of those for me. He told me his name was Harry, he was from somewhere in Africa, I forgot where, too many stories over too many years now but I can’t forget him, his electric personally, his passion for life and to travel and to make a difference. He had/sn’t stopped dreaming as unfortunately so many others in his circumstances do. I’d say, “what are you dreaming of Harry ?”and he’d chat away.
He loved the USA, so anything that came in clothing wise with U.S city names on or good brands, he was excited ! We talked lots, he was such a leader, and was living in the forests just outside Ouistreham and despite the cold winter conditions the night that I remember last seeing him, he was full of courage and optimistic for getting to the UK. Well he did, he did a very dangerous journey and he made it and he let us know he’d got there.
And now, I’m just left with this question, where is Harry? How did it work out? Did he find safety and the life he sought with such passion. Did he manage to find indoor shelter, a home even? A job possibly as he is so incredible bright and such a born leader ?
It’s hard not knowing, and not to worry for them but it’s good to be a part of their story. I like to think we, SOS Chai, are like the provision of a bridge. So much is unsafe and there are many ravines, dangers, overwhelmingly high hills to climb for each one of them to find a new life but as they keep going, there are moments when they encounter a bridge over a ravine, or a mountain tunnel that gets them though without crazy fearful climbs ; someplace easier to get them further on, where there is provision rather than challenge, ease, momentary rest rather than uphills, good surprises in a marathon, epic journey that is their life.
A bridge with a service station on it even, somewhere to rest safely for an hour or so, find good food, smiles and welcomes.
And what if we could create more bridges for these brave ones, for these survivors?
I’m horrified right now as I listen to the ambush stories of how these boys are treated on the boarders. Deeply saddened and angry that on our continent we deem it ok to treat vulnerable, brave people in this inhuman way.
Where we can, let’s be those that see these boys and love them generously, and I like to believe that in some small way that is helping turn a mounting tide of violence and negligence.
We run on a skeleton staff, continually looking for provisions and the finance we need to do this, and every little donation helps, whether time or effort or money.
Please keep helping, and keep informed, and look out for Harry! We always lovingly as a team joked that he’ll be a leader somewhere one day and make such a big difference, so who knows where or when?
by C. Kelly