Sunday, June 20, 2010

Ethiopia - The Babies on Backs, The Responsibility


According to The Fisherman's photographs, it seemed to be the children
who mostly bore babies on their backs.

It's interesting how they are wrapped up and held tightly with a blanket or just a shawl.

I can't figure out how the garments stay put, how the babies are held securely on.

Even older brothers carry their baby siblings.

Sometimes the "babies" look almost as big as Big Sister.

I love this photo. 

But why am I including it in The Babies on The Backs?
Look at her waist and you'll see a tiny foot.
And look at her sense of responsibility.
Bearing a baby sibling on her back, she doesn't take her hand of her little brother.


Speaking of the responsibility.  These children carry much of it.

Take this young girl.  She came to the clinic with her 3 younger siblings. 
A baby on her back, she is just 11 years old.  And she is the head of her household.
They are orphans. 
She is the oldest and has taken on adult responsibilities for her younger brothers and sister. 

Many children in Africa have been orphaned by AIDS or violence.  In some places nearly a whole generation has died leaving children to be raised by grandparents.  If there are no grandparents, the children may go to an orphanage, or be taken in by another family, or....go it alone. 

You can see the burden she bears in her young body and heart.

She seems diligent to care for the family, though she surely needs a mother herself.

And look at this face.  Keeping an eye out for the kids.  They are her responsibility.

I can't imagine her life, her burden, her stolen childhood.  The team was heartbroken over this little family.  They took a private collection among those team members available at the time.  They raised a couple hundred dollars that would fully support them in housing, food and miscellaneous for at least a month. 
They all wished it could be more.

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