Hello, I am Sibusiso (Christmas 2003)

This picture was taken on the day I was born, 18 March 2003. Some men were playing football on a sports field outside Sundumbili. They kicked the ball across the pitch and Jakob Ncube, one of the players, ran into the bush to look for the ball. He heard me crying. What else could I do? It was cold and I was naked as I had been born, even the placenta was still hanging from my umbilical cord. Only the ants had already found me, and vast numbers of them were crawling all over me. The football player gently picked me up and the team was very surprised when Jacob brought me back from the bush instead of the ball.

Thank goodness there was a security car nearby and the kind people called the police who took me to the local basic health unit where they relieved me of the afterbirth and wrapped me in a clean warm blanket. The nurse was convinced that I would be best off at Blessed Gerhard's Children's Home because they lovingly cared for many children like me and other children who had a lot of other difficulties. Some of my friends had been neglected and abused in one way or another before they came to the home.

Some are sick, some have no parents and some are disabled. In the meantime I have put on quite a bit of weight and the carers say I am a good boy.

Father Gerhard baptised me on 27 April 2003; I was given the name Sibusiso (which is Zulu and means Benedict, i.e. the blessed one). The picture shows me in the arms of my godmother Clare Kalkwarf; but we children in the children's home call her "Auntie Clare".

I wish my mummy could see me now; I'm nice and warm now and have plenty to eat, and everyone likes me. The nice people who help us also run a hospice for the children suffering from AIDS or other incurable diseases. But they also help the older ones. All the nice volunteer carers at Blessed Gerhard's Hospice look after the dying with a lot of loving care and dedication, and many patients who are brought here feel a little better. Some of them can go home again. When I grow up, I want to be a nurse or a doctor. Then I too can be as nice to other people and help them as much as the caregivers at Blessed Gerhard's Hospice.

All the best


* This is actually only his middle name, we don't mention the first to protect his privacy. By the way, Sibusiso has become a big, healthy, nice and funny boy. He is still with us and doing very well.