By Habiba Wakio
Nuru put her hand on top of the little girl’s tiny hand as she held the hose pipe. She had come to Neema Children’s Home with a group of fourteen youths belonging to Ufunguo Book Club. She and Swabrina were watering the plants in the garden.
“What would you like to be when you grow up?” She asked the seven-year-old.
Swabrina flashed her teeth. “A pilot,” she replied.
Nuru’s chest squeezed. That had been her dream before her parents’ demise. She had dreamt of flying high, but the loss of her parents had cut off her wings. She had lost hope until a distant aunt appeared in her life and offered to educate her. Having watched her parents die of cancer, she decided to study medicine instead. Then she discovered her love for reading and writing fictional stories, and that became her therapy.
She squeezed her eyes shut and gritted her teeth in an attempt to fight back tears. Swabrina was such a brilliant and jovial girl. She deserved to be happy. So did the other children in the orphanage. Nuru and her friends had arrived at midday with storybooks, foodstuff, and clothes. The kids were elated. Nuru and her friends involved the kids in tree planting and afterwards helped them water the plants.
In the afternoon, they had lunch together, and then read them stories. They also played several games. The kids who won any game were awarded. This encouraged them to do better. The spelling bee competition became stiffer. In the end, Swabrina emerged as the winner. Nuru was happy to see smiles on the faces of the children. She and her friends offered to tutor them over the weekend. Nuru felt that doing volunteer work to help others was truly worthwhile.